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China agrees to lift ban on U.S. beef imports

 

By: Georgia Farm Bureau
4/19/2017 11:19:59 AM

 

China's ban on imports of U.S. beef dating back to 2003 could be lifted after discussions between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, according to published reports.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) expressed gratitude to Trump for making beef a priority issue in talks with China. NCBA Director for International Trade Kent Bacus said the two nations will be working to reduce technical barriers to trade over the next 100 days.

"In recent years China has actually become a major importer of beef, second only to the U.S., and most of that demand is being met from Australia, New Zealand and Brazil," Bacus said. "We want to be a part of that, obviously. We think that China will probably be another strong market for ribs, for rounds, for offals, and for high-end beef in some of the global centers like Beijing and Shanghai. We produce a very safe, high-quality product, and we think that we'll have a very bright future in China as soon as we can get our foot in the door."

China instituted the ban after the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was found in the U.S., denying American beef producers access to the world's largest market for ag products. According to Bloomberg News, Chinese consumption of beef increased by 33 percent between 2012 and 2016 as the country's middle class continues to grow.

China agreed to lift the trade barrier, which could mean billions of dollars' worth of trade for U.S. cattlemen. Prior to the Trump-Xi meeting, a group of 39 senators wrote to the U.S. president asking that he prioritize opening the Chinese market for beef.

 

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