WASHINGTON: The Alberta Beef Producers (ABP) has tapped Fleishman-Hillard to help with the effort to bring Canadian beef back to the US.
The importation of Canadian beef was banned in 2003, when an Alberta cow tested positive for mad cow disease.
Fleishman, working under a $23,500 monthly retainer, will help the ABP develop policies and political strategies to reopen the beef trade, explained SVP Jon Huenemann.
Fleishman is also working with law firm Blank Rome on a legal strategy, as well as on plans to explore a possible international trade agreement.
Canadian Cattlemen for Fair Trade, an advocacy group, this month filed a complaint against the US, claiming that the ban is protectionist and has resulted in C$300 million in losses for Canadian businesses.
Alberta accounts for 50% of Canada's cattle and beef production.
"We wanted to be as effective as possible [in communicating] with US lawmakers," said Ron Glaser, public affairs manager for ABP.