US, China Finalize Details to Send Beef Products to PRC

As part of the United States-China 100-Day Action plan announced on May 11 by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, the Trump Administration on June 12 announced that important steps toward commercial shipment of US beef products to the PRC have been taken for the first time since 2003.

This is the result of the US-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue co-chaired by Ross and Mnuchin for the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang for China. Accordingly, the United States Department of Agriculture has reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the United States to begin the beef exports to China.

beef tenderloinFollowing US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s announcement of the posting of technical documents related to the beginning of shipments, Ross issued the following statement:

“President Trump is doing more to improve the US-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.”

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer also issued a statement, as follows:

"I welcome China taking this important step to start allowing our 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 US 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."

The North American Meat Institute applauded the final deal, pointing out that it came less than one month after an initial agreement was reached following President Donald Trump’s summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida.

Looking forward to the resumption of exports to China, US Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng stated:

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

China imports an estimated $2.6 billion worth of beef from around the world. Asian countries already make up some of the largest markets for US beef with Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan ranking as four of the top six export markets, accounting for $3.6 billion in value in 2016.