China a step closer to resuming US beef imports

“I welcome China taking this important step to start allowing U.S. beef imports after shutting them out over 13 years ago”, says U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

The Department of Agriculture announced on Monday that China, who imported $2.5 billion worth of beef in 2016, will soon begin importing United States beef.

The deal is part of a trade agreement between the two countries. Before the ban, the United States was China’s largest supplier of imported beef.

China banned US beef almost 14 years ago because of concerns of mad cow disease.

“As we clear away long-standing issues like this one, focusing on near-term, verifiable deliverables, we are building a sound foundation for further discussions”, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a separate statement.

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted the requirements for its Export Verification program for USA establishments shipping to China, which will enable packers to apply for approval to export to China. He also thanked those who worked on the agreement, saying without their hard work it would not have been possible. “Meeting these requirements will add costs and this will mean that USA beef is priced at a premium compared to other suppliers in the market”.

Mnuchin added, “We will continue to work toward a more fair and balanced economic relationship with China by expanding opportunities for USA workers and businesses”.

China has been rapidly increasing imports of beef in the past few years. U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester made statements on the announcement.

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) concluded its annual fly-in to Washington, D.C. this week.

“This new market will provide Montana cattle ranchers with the opportunity to grow their operations and create a good living off the land”, said Tester.

“There is no doubt consumers in China will be pleased with the quality of Nebraska beef”.