PoliticsForeign Policy


The US Might Export Beef To China For The First Time In 13 Years

The U.S. and China have established a new trade deal that includes exporting U.S. beef and importing Chinese poultry.
Posted at 8:02 PM, May 12, 2017

During a press briefing Friday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said: "It's been 13 years since our cattle producers have been effectively locked out of the Chinese market. China is the second-largest beef importer in the world, buying roughly $2.6 billion of beef every year."

A new trade deal between the U.S. and China will allow the U.S. to break back into that beef market. China has reportedly avoided U.S.-imported beef since 2003 because of concerns about mad cow disease and hormone use.

The deal also fast-tracks U.S. approval of Chinese poultry imports and gives Chinese banks more access to the U.S. market. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross heralded the deal as a "herculean accomplishment."

It's the first list of commitments between the U.S. and China stemming from the nations' 100-day action plan, which President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping discussed at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in April.

The Trump administration hopes this initial trade deal helps "bring down" the U.S. trade deficit with China — something President Trump emphasized on the campaign trail. 

But his approach has been much more diplomatic than he previously insinuated. At one point, Trump considered imposing a tariff on Chinese imports.

The president celebrated news of the deal by tweeting: "China just agreed that the U.S. will be allowed to sell beef, and other major products, into China once again. This is REAL news!"

Though the Commerce Department said U.S.-Chinese relations are expected to continue to develop, some foreign policy experts warn that China has backed out on trade promises in the past.