A new US-China trade agreement will recommence US beef exports to China for the first time since 2004.
The deal is part of the initial commitments hashed out as part of multi-industry 100-day action plan between President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping and their respective aides.
The US Department of Commerce stated that China will allow US beef imports as soon as possible, but no later than July 16, 2017. The US will publish a proposed rule by that same date that would allow imports of cooked Chinese poultry into the US.
Commenting on the agreement, US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement on Friday that “When the Chinese people taste our high-quality US beef, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll want more of it.”
“This is tremendous news for the American beef industry, the agriculture community, and the US economy in general,” he said. “We will once again have access to the enormous Chinese market, with a strong and growing middle class, which had been closed to our ranchers for a long, long time.”
Renegotiating trade terms with China was a key to Trump’s presidential campaign and his pledge to re-balance trade deficits, and it could pave the way for further progress on agricultural and other trade issues with China, which has a population of nearly 1.4 billion.
China never lifted a ban on US beef implemented after a US mad cow disease outbreak in 2003. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross noted in a statement that the deal opens up “at least a $2.5 billion market” for US beef.
In addition to the agri agreements, as part of the 100-day action plan the US welcomed China to receive imports of liquefied natural gas and agreed to take steps to broaden Chinese banks’ access to US markets. The plan also stipulates that China’s National Biosafety Committee will hold a meeting by the end of this month to conduct science-based evaluations of all eight pending US biotechnology product applications.