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U.S. beef to China imminent

By mid-July at the latest, China will accept shipments of US beef, said a US Department of Commerce news release.

"Following one more round of technical consultations between the United States and China, China is to allow imports of U.S. beef on conditions consistent with international food safety and animal health standards and consistent with the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement, beginning as soon as possible but no later than July 16, 2017," said the news release that also explained that consensus on this and other trade issues took place about a month after President Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The same deadline was set for the U.S. to accept cooked poultry from China.

"United States is to publish a proposed rule by July 16, 2017, at the latest, with the United States realizing China poultry exports as soon as possible," said the release.

Cattle feeder Herman Shumacher said he hopes that exports to China will help bump up the US cattle market but he said details are important. "Let's have some safeguards. It sounds like we are trading chicken for beef which in my opinion would not be harmful (to the US cattle industry.)

Schumacher, of Herried, South Dakota, said the US cattle market has been on an unexpected rise for several months and he hopes that the trade arrangement with China will further improve the market and give the cow-calf producer the same profit opportunities that feeders are enjoying now.

Industry reactions:

US Meat Export Federation USMEF welcomes today's announcement that the United States and China have reached a high-level agreement that will allow U.S. beef to reenter the Chinese market after a prolonged absence of more than 13 years.

USMEF and its members greatly appreciate the efforts of the Trump administration and officials at USDA and USTR that made today's announcement possible.

US Cattlemen's Association

"As noted in the U.S.-China Economic Cooperation 100-Day Plan, U.S. beef access in China remains one of the priorities for both countries. The Plan states that following one more round of technical consultations, U.S. beef will be granted access to China, in accordance with international standards. The plan gives a timeline for access set at no later than July 16, 2017."

"USCA applauds President Donald J. Trump, Secretary Perdue, and Members of the House and Senate for making U.S. beef access to China a priority issue and appreciates the efforts by all to see this agreement through to completion. Market access to China is crucial for U.S. cattle producers. Success in this arena will drive the U.S. cattle market and increase demand for U.S beef. USCA looks forward to working with this Administration to establish U.S. beef access to China during the final rounds of these technical consultations."

National Cattlemen's Beef Association

"After being locked out of the world's largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China. It's impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for America's cattle producers, and the Trump Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved. We look forward to providing nearly 1.4 billion new customers in China with the same safe and delicious U.S. beef that we feed our families. I look forward to the day when we can serve President Trump and President Xi a dry-aged American-made New York strip in Beijing."

R-CALF USA

"While we welcome the news that China intends to reopen its market to U.S. beef, steps must be taken to ensure the benefits from this expanded market flow all the way back to the farmers and ranchers who comprise the U.S. live cattle supply chain, and are not captured by the multinational meatpackers who will actually export the beef.

"Because the dangerous foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in China, we need assurances from the Secretary of Agriculture that we are not entering a quid pro quo with China as we did with Brazil, with which we agreed to relax our FMD restrictions in return for renewed access to the Brazilian market. Doing this also with China would expose our domestic cattle herd to an unacceptable risk."

–Staff report