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China Implementing Trade Agreement Obligations, U.S. Says

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

China has taken a number of actions, on schedule, to begin implementing its agriculture-related commitments under the U.S.-China phase one trade agreement, according to information from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Department of Agriculture. There has been some concern that the coronavirus outbreak that originated in China could hinder this process, but the U.S. statement indicates that this has not been the case so far. In addition, given that the trade agreement allows the U.S. to impose tariffs or other measures against China if it fails to implement its commitments, the U.S. announcement suggests that no such measures are envisioned in the near future.

According to USTR and USDA, actions taken by China thus far include the following.

- allowing the importation of U.S. fresh chipping potatoes (effective Feb. 21)

- lifting the ban on imports of U.S. poultry and poultry products, including pet food containing poultry products (effective Feb. 14)

- lifting restrictions on imports of U.S. pet food containing ruminant material (effective Feb. 19)

- updating lists of U.S. facilities approved for exporting animal protein (effective Feb. 14), pet food (effective Feb. 14), dairy and infant formula (effective Feb. 24), and tallow for industry use to China (effective Feb. 14)

- updating the lists of U.S. products that can be exported to China as feed additives

- updating an approved list of U.S. seafood species that can be exported to China

- announcing Feb. 17 the availability of tariff exclusions for imports of U.S. agricultural products subject to retaliatory tariffs

- reducing retaliatory tariff rates on certain U.S. agricultural goods (effective Feb. 14)

A Reuters article adds that China has “conditionally lifted a ban on beef and beef products from U.S. cows more than 30 months old.”

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