China opens door to more U.S. dairy trade
Dairy products made in the U.S. will have more access to Chinese markets because of a deal reached Thursday.
China is the world’s largest dairy importer, and already imports some U.S. dairy products, but U.S. Dairy Export Council President Tom Vilsack tells Brownfield the agreement outlines how U.S. dairy facilities will be audited to make sure they comply with Chinese food safety requirements. “Certainly, the Chinese are concerned about the safety of dairy products and so they are reassured about the safety of what they get from the U.S.”
More than 200 U.S. exporters will initially be able to sell milk, cheese, infant formula and ingredients to China, with more exporters to be certified later.
Vilsack says Thursday’s memorandum of understanding gives U.S. producers better access to a huge market. “I don’t think there’s any question that there is tremendous opportunity in the Asian markets assuming that we don’t get shut out of those markets by more aggressive efforts on the part of the EU to negotiate free trade agreements.”
The U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Milk Producers Federation say more than two years of negotiations with both governments led to the deal.
Dairy exporters that were not shipping to China before their 2014 “Decree 145” were blocked from sending products until the facilities could be certified to meet Chinese food safety standards.
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