U.S. China Finalize Details to Send U.S. Beef to China

As part of the U.S.-China 100-Day Action plan announced on May 11, 2017 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, the Trump Administration today has taken important steps toward commercial shipment of U.S. beef and beef products to China for the first time since 2003. These shipments are results of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue co-chaired by Secretary Ross and Secretary Mnuchin for the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang for China. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin the beef exports to China. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced the posting of technical documents related to the beginning of shipments.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement:

"Today is a great day for the United States and in particular for our cattle producers, who will be regaining access to an enormous market with an ever-expanding middle class. Since he was elected, President Trump has brought momentum, optimism, and results to American agriculture families that we haven't seen in years and this agreement is a great example. I commend the hard work of Secretary Ross, Secretary Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and our USDA representatives. Without their dedication and persistence, this would have not been possible. I have no doubt that as soon as the Chinese people get a taste of American beef they'll want more of it."

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued the following statement:

"President Trump is doing more to improve the U.S.-China relationship than any president in decades, and this final beef protocol agreement represents even more concrete progress. 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. I look forward to engaging with our Chinese counterparts as we address more complex issues to the benefit of both our nations."

Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin issued the following statement:

"The reopening of China's market to American beef is an example of the results-oriented approach this Administration has taken in our engagement with China. We will continue to work toward a more fair and balanced economic relationship with China by expanding opportunities for U.S. workers and businesses."

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued the following statement:

"I welcome China taking this important step to start allowing U.S. beef imports after shutting them out over 13 years ago. The President's firm commitment to fair trade that benefits the United States has made this new U.S. beef export opportunity possible. I encourage China and all countries to base their requirements on international standards and science. America's ranchers are the best producers of beef in the global economy, and they can compete and succeed wherever there is a level playing field."

Background:

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted the requirements for its Export Verification program for U.S. establishments shipping to China, which will enable packers to apply for approval to export to China. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has also updated its online Export Library specifying Chinas requirements for certifying U.S. beef being shipped there.

China has emerged as a major beef buyer in recent years, with imports increasing from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016. However, the United States has been banned from China's market since 2003. The United States is the worlds largest beef producer and was the worlds fourth-largest exporter, with global sales of more than $5.4 billion in 2016. Until the ban took effect, the U.S. was Chinas largest supplier of imported beef, providing 70 percent of their total intake.USMEF Statement on U.S. Beef Access to China

On June 12, U.S. beef was added to the list of products eligible for export to China. Details are posted in the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library and in the Export Verification Program administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.


Statement from Senator Jerry Moran - Kansas:

"Given the current low prices Kansas farmers and ranchers are facing, we need every available export market. A finalized agreement so that the United States will be able to export beef to China is welcome news for producers across the country. China offers great potential for beef sales, and the new opportunity in this market will boost not only our ag community but also our national economy."


Statement from Senator Deb Fischer - Nebraska:

"Nebraska beef producers are the best in the world. Today's agreement is welcome news for families across our state who can now compete in a new market that is estimated at $2.6 billion. I look forward to continuing my work with the administration to expand opportunities for our beef producers to deliver their outstanding, high-quality products to a hungry world."

Statement from Congressman Adrian Smith - Nebraska: .

"We know opening more markets for Nebraska agriculture producers is crucial to their continued success in feeding the world, and restoring access to China is an incredible step forward, Smith said. There is no doubt consumers in China will be pleased with the quality of Nebraska beef. I applaud President Trump and his administration for their leadership in this effort, and I will continue to stress the importance of strong trade policy which benefits U.S. agriculture and consumers around the globe."


U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng:

"USMEF is pleased to see these important steps completed that will soon allow U.S. beef shipments to China to resume, ending a suspension that has lasted more than 13 years. We thank our U.S. government officials for their tireless efforts on this issue, and now look forward to exporting U.S. beef to this very important market.

It is important to note that the market-opening agreement includes requirements that will involve a period of adjustment for the U.S. industry. Meeting these requirements will add costs and this will mean that U.S. beef is priced at a premium compared to other suppliers in the market. With that said, China holds exciting potential for the U.S. beef industry and for buyers in the market who have waited a very long time for the return of high-quality U.S. beef."

National Cattlemen's Beef Association President, Craig Uden:

"NCBA commends the leadership of President Trump and our skilled negotiators who were able to restore U.S. beef access to China, something that has been a top priority for NCBA for 13 years. NCBA worked closely with USDA throughout the entire process. In recent years, China has become one of the largest import markets for beef, and these terms are a reflection of China's trust in the safety and quality of U.S. beef. We hope that by getting our foot in the door we can develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China."


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