Monday, June 12, 2017

Industry applauds as U.S. beef trade with China finalized

From the USDA:
As part of the U.S.-China 100-Day Action plan announced on May 11, 2017 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, the Trump Administration today has taken important steps toward commercial shipment of U.S. beef and beef products to China for the first time since 2003. These shipments are results of the U.S.-China Comprehensive Economic Dialogue co-chaired by Secretary Ross and Secretary Mnuchin for the United States and Vice Premier Wang Yang for China. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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 today announced the posting of technical documents related to the beginning of shipments.

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 commend the hard work of Secretary Ross, Secretary Mnuchin, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and our USDA representatives. Without their dedication and persistence, this would have not been possible. I have no doubt that as soon as the Chinese people get a taste of American beef they’ll want more of it.”

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued the following statement:
“President Trump is doing more to improve the U.S.-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.”

Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin issued the following statement:
"The ‎reopening of China's market to American beef is an example of the results-oriented approach this Administration has taken in our engagement with China. We will continue to work toward a more fair and balanced economic relationship with China by expanding opportunities for U.S. workers and businesses."

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer issued the following statement:
"I welcome China taking this important step to start allowing U.S. 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 U.S. 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."

Background:
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has posted the requirements for its Export Verification program for U.S. establishments shipping to China, which will enable packers to apply for approval to export to China. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has also updated its online Export Library specifying China’s requirements for certifying U.S. beef being shipped there.

China has emerged as a major beef buyer in recent years, with imports increasing from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016. However, the United States has been banned from China's market since 2003. The United States is the world’s largest beef producer and was the world’s fourth-largest exporter, with global sales of more than $5.4 billion in 2016. Until the ban took effect, the U.S. was China’s largest supplier of imported beef, providing 70 percent of their total intake.
Beef industry groups are pleased. From the National Cattlemen's Beef Association:
Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA), today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) announcement that it has reached a final agreement with Chinese officials on a deal that will allow U.S. producers to begin beef exports to China for the first time since 2003:

"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. We hope that by getting our foot in the door we can develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China."
From the U.S. Cattlemen's Association:
The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) concluded its annual fly-in to Washington, D.C. this week. With over 30 producers from across the country making the trip out to discuss issues of importance to the U.S. cattle industry, a main talking point throughout the week’s meetings was trade, notably the importance of reestablishing trade with China.

Today’s announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is a significant moment for producers across the country. Market access to China, for chilled or frozen beef, processed under the age of 30 months, has now been granted.

The provisions of the agreement include specific mention to hormones, trace residue, and overall herd health; and a mandate on origin information for any product entering the market. U.S. producers and the industry must work together to ensure these criteria are met, thereby securing this needed market access for years to come.

USCA President Kenny Graner commented on the news, “We were briefed by the Administration during our fly-in on the status of the agreement and it comes as welcome news to all producers that we have once again secured this important market.”

“USCA would like to thank the Administration and staff at USDA who have remain committed to securing this access for producers since the ban was put in place in 2003. The individuals who have led on these negotiations have never wavered and for that, U.S. cattle producers will now enjoy the potential of an ever growing, and ever demanding marketplace for U.S. beef.”

“Today’s announcement serves as a fitting end to a week spent in Washington, D.C. bringing issues from the industry to the Hill and Administration. Market access affects the bottom line of all producers and USCA thanks the work of all of those in the previous and current Administration who worked so diligently to make beef access to China a reality.”

For more information on specific export requirements, please click HERE.
Here is our latest report on the negotiations. For more details and reactions, check CapitalPress.com soon.

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