Daines: U.S. Beef On Its Way To China

U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that an agreement has been reached to begin shipping U.S. beef to China.

“For the first time in 13 years, Montana beef will now be served on menus, plates and in Chinese households,” Daines stated. “China is the world’s second largest beef market. After my two official trade missions to Beijing, including pressing the Chinese Premier and endless conversations with the Trump and Obama administrations – the ban is over. Montanans know U.S. beef is the highest quality in the world and now our producers can compete on a level playing field. On my next trip to Beijing I look forward to seeing Montana beef on the menu.”

Errol Rice, Executive Vice President, Montana Stockgrowers Association: “We are extremely excited about the announcement, that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef to China. Montana’s ranchers have been waiting since 2003, to ship the nation’s highest quality beef to China’s 1.3 billion consumers. The Montana Stockgrowers Association thanks Senator Daines for his ongoing efforts to open up this important market and his work on behalf of Montana ranchers.” 

Chasmine Nelson, United States Cattlemen’s Association Trade Committee Co-Chair, Forsyth, MT: “The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) appreciates the leadership by Senator Steve Daines in working towards greater market access for U.S. beef.  Today’s announcement that an agreement has been reached and China will be moving forward to re-open their market and lift their 13-year ban on U.S. beef is welcome news to all producers, and a result of the Senator’s communications with the Administration.  As the next generation of the livestock industry, fellow cattle producers and I are constantly looking to the future and how our industry will grow so that we can meet our bottom line.  This news represents a critical step forward in expanding our access to the global marketplace and securing needed trade opportunities for all U.S. producers.  USCA and our members thank Senator Daines for his commitment to this issue and continuing to move these negotiations forward.” 

Daines has long been working to end the ban on U.S. beef to China:

On June 10, 2017, Daines wrote an editorial following the Montana Ag Summit about the importance of agriculture and trade to the future of jobs in Montana. 

On June 1, 2017, Daines co-hosted the Montana Ag Summit in Great Falls, Montana that brought together the nation’s top agricultural leaders: the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, and the U.S. Senate Ag Committee Chairman Pat Roberts. 

On May 12, 2017, Daines announced that an agreement was reached to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef no later than July 16, 2017.

On April 17, 2017, Daines returned from leading an official congressional delegation trip to China where he hand-delivered four Montana steaks from Miles City to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and pressed Chinese officials to finalize negotiations and re-open Chinese markets to U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Premier Li. 

On April 5, 2017, Daines led 38 Senators in a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to prioritize reopening China’s market to U.S. beef in his discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping. 

On March 23, 2017, during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, Daines pressed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on the importance expanding trade opportunities for Montana agriculture.

On March 9, 2017, Daines met with the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer. During the meeting Daines hand-delivered a letter urging him to prioritize opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef. 

On February 1, 2017, Daines met with the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue and discussed expanding access to foreign markets for Montana agriculture, including reaching an agreement to allow Montana beef into China. 

On January 18, 2017, Daines met with the Secretary for the U.S. Department of State, Rex Tillerson, where they discussed opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef imports.

On January 4, 2017, Daines met with the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, urging him to prioritize expanding access to foreign markets for Montana agricultural products, including opening China’s market to U.S. beef. 

On December 6, 2016, Daines wrote to then President-elect Trump urging him to level the playing field for Montana producers by working to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef.

On October 5, 2016, Daines penned an editorial on the importance of ending the ban on U.S. beef imports for Montana producers.

On September 22, 2016, Daines welcomed news that China would begin to end the ban on U.S. beef that began in 2003.

In May 2016, Daines led a congressional delegation fact-finding mission to China. During the visit, the first issue Daines pressed the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang on was ending the ban on U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Zhang.  

On July 13, 2016, Daines pressed Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai on opening open their market to Montana beef. 

Daines spent almost six years in China with Procter and Gamble expanding markets for American brands and products to Chinese consumers.