Resumption of Beef Trade with China Discussed at JCCT

At a news conference following Friday’s U.S.-China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) meeting in Beijing, leading Chinese trade officials pledged to ease restrictions on U.S. beef.

China’s vice agriculture minister Niu Dun told Reuters that China and the United States have made progress towards reaching a deal on American beef exports but agreement on technical issues is still needed before final approval.

“We’ve made progress on many areas,” Niu said. “We hope both sides can reach agreement next July.”

A JCCT fact sheet issued Friday by the Office of U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) included the following statement:

Both sides will strive for the resumption of U.S. beef access by July 2014 on the basis of mutually agreed conditions. Both sides will strive for effective solutions to common concerns regarding U.S. beef trade and promote U.S. beef exports to China.

“We expect to receive more details soon, but the statements emerging from the JCCT suggest that Secretary Vilsack and Ambassador Froman may have made some progress in meetings this week with their Chinese counterparts,” said Philip Seng, USMEF president and CEO. “Lack of market access for U.S. beef in China has been a very frustrating issue for the U.S. industry, and for U.S. trade officials as well. I would like to thank our representatives from USTR, USDA and the Department of Commerce for their ongoing efforts to restore beef access in China and for keeping this issue front-and-center at the JCCT meeting.” USMEF will provide further updates as more information becomes available.