China, US reach agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas

Xavier Trudeau
Mai 20, 2017

The 10-part deal was hailed as an "early harvest" from the 100-day action plan that Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump agreed to pursue at their Mar-a-Lago meeting in the United States in April.

"The Commerce Department's announcement that they have reached an agreement with China to open its markets to USA beef and natural gas is good news for North Dakota's top industries - agriculture and energy", said Hoeven.

NORTHAM: Under the agreement, China will open its market to us beef importers by mid-July.

China has purchased negligible amounts of US beef products since imposing a ban in 2003 over concerns about "mad cow" disease. "We look forward to providing almost 1.4 billion new customers to China with the same safe and delicious USA beef that we feed our families".

Last fall, the Obama administration secured preliminary access to the Chinese market for US beef exports, which had been disrupted for more than a decade because of the "mad cow" scare, but hadn't finished the technical trade talks.

He also said Trump deserved "a lot of credit" for improving once-tense trading ties with China.

Exports account for more than $300 per head of finished beef cattle slaughtered in the USA, and that value will continue to grow with China in the market.

"This was pretty much a herculean accomplishment to get this done", U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told reporters at the White House, according to Bloomberg News. Ross said he recognized that many issues and sectors were not addressed in the May 11 deal.

The deal, which should start no later than mid-July, is subject to further technical talks on import standards, would allow United States beef and card payment services access to the Chinese market.

The talks with China are latest in a series of actions since Trump took office in January aimed at remaking US worldwide trade relations.

"This will help us to bring down the deficit for sure", Mr Ross said at media briefing in Washington.

The two nations agreed to restart sales in September but USA producers were unable to get their beef into China.

The Chinese market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion for the USA beef industry. "So we're hoping that these efforts which are being led by the Trump administration, and in particular Secretary Perdue, is a big step in the right direction".

It is unclear exactly how much these new deals will increase trade between the two countries.

In 2015, the Governor visited Beijing to urge the Chinese government to reopen the Chinese market to American beef.

"It's at least a $2.5 billion market that's being opened up for USA beef", Ross said. "The more beef we can export ... will certainly have a positive effect on cattle prices funneled all the way down to North Dakota feeder calves".

Approval still would be needed for China and there's now little infrastructure along US coastlines to allow for overseas gas shipments.

The Trump administration announced on Thursday that United States beef producers will have access to China's consumers.

For example, notable for its absence was anything related to the US steel industry, which has been promoted by President Donald Trump.

Yet beef exports alone will do little to fill the trade gap.

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