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Increased access to China presents numerous opportunities for US beef

With the Japan trade deal sign, The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association says the beef industry can look to other expanding market opportunities, like China.

Kent Bacus says there are endless opportunities in China if the non-tariff trade barriers are lifted.  “The fact that China approves the FDA technologies that we use – the hormones, beta-agonists,” he says.  “All these things that are common use in the beef industry and have been proven safe for many years – but they aren’t allowed in China.”

He says a recent study from the US Meat Export Federation highlighted the potential market growth for US beef exported to China.  “If we could remove those non-tariff trade barriers, China would be a $4-billion market for us in 5-years,” he says.  “And that was before the African swine fever outbreak.” In 2018, the first full year of access for US beef, exports to China were valued at $60.8 million. 

But, Bacus says, the beef industry realizes it is just one part of a much larger conversation.  “It’s not just about beef access, it’s about setting rules of trade and terms of trade between the two biggest economies in the world,” he says.

The next round of trade negotiations between the US and China are underway and are expected to conclude on Friday.

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