The Trump administration’s May 11 announcement of an important new development in the restoration of U.S. beef access to China brought cheers from Iowa cattle producers. “With market access closed for U.S. beef to China for the past 13 years, this is welcome news for American beef producers,” says Mike Cline, president of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. “The beef community thanks President Trump for making U.S. beef trade a priority.”
While this is an important step forward in gaining access to the second-largest beef importing country in the world, American beef will not be immediately available to Chinese consumers, he says. One more round of technical consultations between the U.S. and China must take place for final details to be arranged.
Beef exports to China likely by mid-July
The plan is expected to be in place by mid-July, helping cattle producers tap a large potential market for beef. In return, the U.S. will issue a proposed rule to allow cooked poultry from China to enter U.S. markets.
For cattle producers in Iowa and around the country, getting U.S. beef into China means increased sales and greater value for the product they work hard to produce, says Cline. China is home to one-fifth of the world’s population, with a growing middle class that is larger than the entire U.S. population. These middle-class consumers are buying record amounts of protein, and China is becoming one of the greatest importers of beef in the world.
Access to the Chinese market will result in increased demand, not only for commonly recognized cuts like rounds and chuck rolls, but also for sales of other cuts like tongues, intestines and short ribs.
China to address biotech trait approvals
The restoration of U.S. beef access to China is one of the 10 initial actions of the U.S.-China Economic Cooperation 100-day plan. China also made a commitment to address the current backlog of approvals of new biotechnology traits for import.
The Chinese market has been closed for 13 years due to concerns stemming from a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) occurring in Washington state in December 2003. “With a middle class that is bigger than the entire U.S. population, these people want meat, and we want U.S. beef to be part of those options,” says Kent Baucus, international trade director for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
For more information or inquiries about this new trade advancement or other beef related policies, contact ICA’s government and regulatory affairs manager, JanLee Rowlett, at [email protected] or call at 515-296-2266.
Source: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association