Key Topic – China Beef Access

On June 12, 2017, U.S. beef was added to the list of products eligible for export to China. Details are posted in the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Export Library and in the Export Verification Program administered by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng issued the following statement:

USMEF is pleased to see these important steps completed that will soon allow U.S. beef shipments to China to resume, ending a suspension that has lasted more than 13 years. We thank our U.S. government officials for their tireless efforts on this issue, and now look forward to exporting U.S. beef to this very important market.

It is important to note that the market-opening agreement includes requirements that will involve a period of adjustment for the U.S. industry. Meeting these requirements will add costs and this will mean that U.S. beef is priced at a premium compared to other suppliers in the market. With that said, China holds exciting potential for the U.S. beef industry and for buyers in the market who have waited a very long time for the return of high-quality U.S. beef.

We advise USMEF members to be upbeat about the market opening, but to be very cautious about making any volume or value projections on beef exports to China. Due to the China’s restrictions on the use of synthetic hormones and beta agonists, as well as its traceability requirements, we expect initial volumes to be fairly small. If you receive an interview request on the China market opening, please contact Joe Schuele at the Denver headquarters ( or 303-226-7309).

UPDATE: USMEF has created this fact sheet to assist you in answering questions about the Chinese beef market and the requirements for exporting beef to China.