KPAX: Sen. Daines optimistic China will again import US beef

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) says he’s optimistic U.S. beef producers will soon be able to sell their products in China.

Sen. Daines says that as one of the world’s largest beef importers, China is a key market for Montana producers. But the country banned U.S. beef imports in 2003 after a case of Mad Cow Disease.

Sen. Daines recently returned from a trip to China and Japan. While in china he met with some of the country leaders about opening up beef imports from the United States.

Chinese officials said last fall they intended to lift the ban, but Sen. Daines says they are waiting for the new Secretary of Agriculture to be confirmed.

“They are convinced we have a safe and reliable supply of beef. There are some final technical issues related to traceability that we are sorting out with the Chinese,” Sen. Daines said. “I’m confident we will get these resolved.”

Sen. Daines says he also talked to Chinese leaders about the importance of putting pressure on North Korea over its missile program.