The U.S. Cattlemen’s Assn. (USCA) sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman requesting an update on the status of trade negotiations with China in relation to the exportation of U.S. beef.
“In September, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced in a speech delivered while in New York that Chinese consumers should no longer be denied the choice to dine on U.S. beef. The news was welcomed by U.S. cattle producers eager to take advantage of a growing demand for beef in the country,” USCA Trade Committee co-chair Chasmine Nelson said.
The letter requests an update on the status of those negotiations and encourages the Administration to reach out to stakeholders for input and feedback.
“We look forward to working with the department to define the details of this proposed expanded market access and are optimistic that we can find a solution that benefits both U.S. producers and Chinese consumers,” Nelson added.
China currently consumes around 13% of the world’s beef and is expected to increase imports of red meat by nearly 24% in 2016 compared to previous years.
The USCA letter noted that Li’s announcement "was an important first step towards securing Chinese markets for U.S. beef; we’d like to see that dialogue continue until an agreement is reached for the exportation of all U.S. beef products.”