Mexico may soon resume imports of US beef, according to a US meat export group.

The US has been struggling to persuade countries to resume imports of US beef after they were banned by several nations following the discovery of a case of BSE, or mad cow disease, in Washington state in December.

“I think Mexico looks more imminent than some of the Asian markets,” Phil Seng, chief executive officer of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, was quoted by Reuters as saying. 

“On the other hand, I think if we can get Japan to move on this and take a leadership role, the other Asian markets would follow,” he added.

Mexico has said it would resume imports if the US implements its recently announced measures to ensure the safety of US beef.

Japan, which has had difficulties recovering Japanese consumer confidence in beef following its own BSE crisis, has insisted the US tests all cattle destined for export, a measure that the US opposes, Reuters said.