The Trump Administration has taken steps toward commercial shipment of U.S. beef and beef products to China for the first time since 2003. The USDA 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 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 have no doubt that as soon as the Chinese people get a taste of American beef they’ll want more of it.”
Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said, “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.”
U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) President and CEO Philip Seng followed suit in praising the announcement. “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.”