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 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.”
The details of the deal are available at https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/imports-exports/beef-ev-china.
The specified requirements for exports to China include:
- Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised, and slaughtered in the U.S., cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico and subsequently raised and slaughtered in the U.S., or cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico for direct slaughter;
- Cattle must be traceable to the U.S. birth farm using a unique identifier, or if imported to the first place of residence or port of entry;
- Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age;
- Chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products are eligible for shipment. For a complete listing, refer to the FSIS Export Library; and
- Carcasses, beef, and beef products must be uniquely identified and controlled up until the time of shipment.
Only eligible products may be issued an FSIS Export Certificate. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) verifies that cattle meet the specified product requirements, as outlined in QAD 1030AA Procedure, through an approved USDA Quality System Assessment (QSA) or USDA Process Verified Program (PVP). These programs ensure that a company’s requirements are supported by a documented quality management system and are verified through audits conducted by AMS.
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."
In a separate statement, the North American Meat Institute called the terms released by USDA and USTR are very favorable and allow for a variety of beef products to be exported to China, an economic boost for the beef industry. The deal allows for qualified beef products produced after May 24, 2017 to be exported once a plant is approved by USDA as eligible to export to China.
“The Administration showed great leadership in reaching this deal with the Chinese government quickly and in negotiating such positive terms for access,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Barry Carpenter. “The demand in China for high quality U.S. beef is high, so opening the market offers great potential for our businesses and the U.S. economy as a whole.”
Source: USDA, NAMI