U.S. farmers will soon be allowed to export beef to China for the first time in more than 13 years after reaching a final agreement in trade talks.
Chinese and American negotiators have reached a preliminary agreement in the process of selling U.S. raised beef in China, the Department of Agriculture announced Monday.
“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,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.
The deal is big news for American farmers, who missed out on billions of dollars of exports after China blocked American beef in 2003, fearing outbreaks of mad cow disease in other Western countries. American beef exports dropped from $3 billion to $1.1 billion in 2004, but the U.S. market has since recovered to pre-2003 levels without exporting to China.
The beef industry hopes that “by getting our foot in the door we can develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China,” Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
“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,” Uden said.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who has said that “as soon as the Chinese people get a taste of American beef they’ll want more of it,” praised Trump for bringing “momentum, optimism, and results to American agriculture families that we haven’t seen in years.” (RELATED: Trump’s Ag Secretary Convinced China Will Love America’s Juicy Beef)
The technical protocols for exports agreed to by negotiators, posted on the USDA’s website, require that exporters prove the birth country of the beef, whether born and raised in the U.S., or born in Canada or Mexico and raised in the States.
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