WASHINGTON – The Bush administration said Wednesday that it will not renegotiate a deal that restores beef exports to South Korea, even though Seoul is asking for changes amid massive domestic protests.

The Associated Press reported that the Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Conner, said the U.S. has "national protocols that we have negotiated with the Korean government and we do not intend to renegotiate those protocols."

South Korea’s president, Lee Myung-bak, had sent lawmakers to the United States to seek assurances that the country would not ship beef from cattle more than 30 months old. Younger cattle are thought be less susceptible to mad cow disease, concerns of which are driving the protests.

"They created the problem. They're going to have to find solutions," Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., who met with South Korean officials on Wednesday, told the news service. Nelson opposed banning older cattle, saying that restriction might lead other countries to demand similar concessions.

Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told the AP such an idea may have merit, although he wanted to talk to beef producers and sellers in his state about it first. South Korean officials told Brady during their meeting that banning older cattle would "go a long way to resolving the issue in Korea."