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U.S. and China Reach Deal on Beef Trade

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

Washington and Beijing have reached a deal that will allow the U.S. to export beef and beef products to China for the first time since 2003. According to a joint press release by the DOC, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Treasury Department, this deal is the result of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue co-chaired by Commerce Secretary Ross and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin on the U.S. side and Vice Premier Wang Yang on the Chinese side, as well as an important outcome of the administration’s 100-day action plan on trade with China.

After the U.S. and China wrapped up the final details of a sanitary protocol for U.S. beef exports to China, the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service posted on its website the requirements for its export verification program for U.S. establishments wishing to export beef and beef products to China, which will enable packers to apply for approval for such exports. Additionally, the Food Safety and Inspection Service has updated its online export library specifying China’s requirements for certifying U.S. beef being shipped there.

The U.S. is the world’s largest beef producer as well as the world’s fourth-largest exporter, with global sales of more than $5.4 billion in 2016. Prior to the 2003 ban the U.S. was China’s largest foreign beef supplier with 70 percent of total Chinese imports. China remains a very important market for foreign beef suppliers, with its imports growing from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016.

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