LINCOLN, NE (June 13, 2017)
Nebraska Cattlemen applauds the Trump Administration for reaching a consensus with Chinese officials on the technical protocol needed to resume U.S. beef exports to China.
"Nebraska's beef producers have waited for 13 years for the opportunity to access China's estimated $2.6 billion market. Chinese officials have spent considerable time in Nebraska in recent years, and NC members played an active role in showcasing the high quality beef we produce in our state. NC is pleased these trips helped China gain confidence in restoring beef trade with the United States, and we are very excited for Nebraska beef to be on the menus in China," said NC President Troy Stowater.
The protocol lists several requirements that U.S. producers will need to meet in order to ship beef to China. Beef exports must come from cattle that are under 30 months of age, are born in the U.S., Canada or Mexico, and can be traced back to a U.S. birth farm or first U.S. port of entry. Changes in ownership will not have to be tracked.
U.S. beef destined for China may not contain residues of growth promotants, feed additives and other chemical compounds prohibited by Chinese law. Testing will occur at point of arrival. If a shipment were to include a prohibited substance it wouldbe rejected, returned to the U.S. or destroyed.
Chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products are eligible for shipment. Qualified beef products produced after May 24, 2017 may be shipped once a plant is approved by USDA as eligible to export to China.
Nebraska is home to numerous harvest plants, and product equivalent of 2,600 head of cattle is exported worldwide from Nebraska every day. Given China's rapidly expanding middle class, Nebraska's livestock industry is poised to benefit tremendously from restored beef trade with China.
"In recent years, China has become one of the largest import markets for beef, and these terms are a reflection of China's trust in the safety and quality of U.S. beef. We hope that by getting our foot in the door we can develop a long lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with China," said Craig Uden, president of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and NC member from Cozad.
The technical terms of the deal mark the final steps needed before U.S. beef can begin arriving in China by July 16, 2017. A full list of requirements can be found on USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service and Food Safety Inspection Service websites.