China Lifts Beef Import Ban: What Does It Mean For Montana?

It’s an accomplishment more than 13 years in the making. Montana beef will finally be back on the plates of consumers in China.

Montana, a beautiful state full of mountain views, rivers, and of course cows. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing when it comes to these animals. “Cattle prices have been down in the last three years.” Nicole Rolf with the Montana Farm Bureau says. Today, a new trade agreement is opening up a brand new market for Montana cattle producers.

 “For the first time in 13 years, Montana beef is now going to be shipped into China. China is the world’s 2nd largest beef market and after 2 official trade mission I’ve taken to Beijing. The ban on U.S. beef products is over.” Senator Steve Daines says in a video released by his office.

The ban was first put in place in 2003, but lawmakers knew an agreement could be met in the long run. “This has been going on for a long time. There have been a lot of excuses as to why China hasn’t imported but obviously those excuses have gone by the wayside. I think it is good work by the Trump administration to get this signed.” Senator Jon Tester told KFBB in a statement.

Its good news for cattle producers all over the U.S., but for Montana the impact will be huge. And Montanans are ready to meet the demand.

“We’re very excited about the potential, opening into a huge country with very large population and a growing middle class.” Rolf explains.

 But if you’re worried this agreement will leave U.S citizens asking, “where’s our beef?” we’re told there’s no reason to panic.

Rolf says “We’re (Montanans) going to keep supplying that to the folks that live here in Montana and the rest of the US. But we’re also looking forward to being able to share it with consumers in China and other parts of the world.”