Farm Bureau praises China trade agreement

Montana cattle may show up on Chinese dinner tables thanks to an historic agreement between the U.S. and China. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reached a final agreement with Chinese officials on the details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin the beef exports to China. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced the posting of technical documents related to the beginning of shipments.

“After an almost 14-year hiatus, our members are anxious to start selling our high-quality beef back into China,” said Montana Farm Bureau National Affairs Director Nicole Rolf.

“Montana ranchers know the beef we produce is nutritious and wholesome. We look forward to sharing it with consumers in China. Expanding our export markets is essential to help cattle prices recover.”

There are requirements for exports to China, such as beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S. Only eligible products will be issued a UDSA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Export Certificate.

 “The potential for U.S. ranchers is great,” said Dave Salmonsen, American Farm Bureau Federation senior director of congressional relations.

“If the protocols go through, it will be a great market. China is currently importing more than $2.5 billion in beef, and that number is steadily increasing. The idea of the agreement was to be shipping beef by the end of the 100-day plank, which is July 16. There are still some conditions that need to be met and how quickly the industry can work those out remains to be seen. This is still a very positive development and we look forward to seeing U.S. beef on its way to China soon.”

Rolf commended Senator Steve Daines for his role in moving this trade agreement along.

“We cannot thank Daines enough for the work he has done to make this happen,” he said.

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