Senate Western Caucus Applauds End of Ban on U.S. Beef Imports to China

U.S. SENATE — The Senate Western Caucus, chaired by U.S. Senator Steve Daines, today applauded the end of the 13-year ban on U.S. beef imports to China.

U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MT): “For the first time in 13 years, Montana beef will now be served on menus, plates and in Chinese households. 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.” 

U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee: “The Trump Administration has made significant progress in delivering market access for U.S. beef products into China. Kansas, along with other states in the heartland, will benefit greatly from this export opportunity. I applaud the quick and thorough work of the Departments of Agriculture, Treasury, and Commerce, and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative in resolving this important issue. I eagerly await the news of the first shipment of U.S. beef arriving in China.” 

U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): “This is a huge step forward for American producers who have been shut out of the market for more than a decade. After recently traveling to China to meet with Chinese Premier Li on this issue, I’m pleased he worked with the Trump administration to make this a reality. Ranchers in Wyoming will now have access to a larger market to sell our high-quality American beef.” 

U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-ID): “I applaud today’s news that China has lifted its ban and will allow U.S. beef into their market. Idaho is a leading global exporter of high-quality beef, and it’s wonderful to add this commodity to the list of other agricultural products that Idaho sells to China each year.” 

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO): “As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity, I am continuing to urge the Trump Administration to explore new trade opportunities for America’s agriculture community in Asia, and this is an important step forward. Colorado’s farmers and ranchers will see positive economic gains from this decision, and everyone involved with finally getting the ban removed should be applauded.”

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK): “I applaud the administration’s action to end the ban on U.S. beef imports into China,” Inhofe said. “This is a huge win for Oklahoma, which produces the fifth most cattle in the country, and our hard-working cattlemen by giving them access to one of the largest beef markets in the world. For 13 years domestic cattle producers have been handicapped by this ban, but by lifting it the Trump administration is taking action that levels the playing field for our nation’s beef industry.”

U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY): “One of the world’s largest markets is now open for Wyoming beef business. We are proud of our Wyoming ranchers. The opportunity to export our beef to over a billion people in China could make a real difference for those around the Cowboy state.”

U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND): “China is the second largest importer of beef in the world, which is why we’ve been working to open this market up to U.S. cattle producers. Trade is vital to the success of our farmers and ranchers, and finalizing the beef agreement will benefit producers in North Dakota and across the nation, as well as Chinese consumers who will now have access to high-quality, U.S. beef.”  

U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID): “The removal of this ban is long overdue. This extended ban on U.S. beef imports was unnecessary and placed American ranchers at a competitive disadvantage. Idaho, as well as ranchers nationwide, will again have access to China’s strong market and growing demand for quality American beef.”

U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR): “This is great news for cattle producers and ranchers in Arkansas and across the country who will be able to sell their top quality and affordable products to the growing Chinese market. For 13 years, American beef producers have been shut out of the Chinese market, and I’m pleased the Trump administration has worked to level the playing field and create an environment where Americans can compete fairly.” 

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD): “After urging the Trump administration to take quick action on this and other important agricultural trade issues, I’m glad to see that it has been resolved. While the agreement is long overdue, it will nonetheless come as welcome news to all of South Dakota’s farmers and ranchers who not only help make agriculture our state’s top industry, but help feed the world.”

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR): “This is a good day for the cattle farmers of Arkansas and all of America. U.S. beef is second to none, and there’s no reason why American farmers shouldn’t be able to compete for Chinese customers. I commend the President for bringing this deal to a successful close.”

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO): “The U.S. beef industry had a strong export year in 2016, and finally reopening China’s market to U.S. beef exports will help keep that momentum going. I’m proud of all the hard work Missouri cattlemen have done to strengthen and grow the beef industry, and I’ll continue advocating for policies that keep our state’s agriculture industry thriving and feeding the world.” 

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

On April 5, 2017, 39 Senators signed 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 September 22, 2016, the process was started to end the ban on U.S. beef that began in 2003.