(NAFB)--USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announced it has completed its efforts to modernize import regulations for bovine spongiform encephalopathy - or BSE - on Friday. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Scott George says the basis of these import regulations is critical in showing the U.S. is committed to ensuring trade - unfettered by protectionist motivations - and sends a clear message to U.S. trading partners of the value it places on fair trade. The comprehensive BSE rule brings the U.S. into compliance with international trade standards without compromising the interlocking safeguards against BSE that are currently in place. George says this is great news for the U.S. cattle industry. He is confident the industry will be able to expand its market access and meet international demand for high quality U.S. beef with these import regulations set. Senate Ag Chair Debbie Stabenow says this is crucial to breaking down other countries’ unfounded trade barriers and re-opening trade markets closed to U.S. beef. Once the rule is in effect - the U.S. will use the same criteria and categories as the World Organization for Animal Health to identify a country’s BSE risk status.