Historic Phase-One Trade Agreement Reached with China

White House

HELENA, Mont. (Jan. 15, 2020) – The Montana Stockgrowers Association is excited to announce the signing of a Phase-One trade agreement with China, which is a tremendous win for our Montana cattle ranching industry.

“We are very pleased with the announcement that President Trump has negotiated and signed a Phase-One trade agreement with China, which will significantly benefit our Montana ranchers,” said MSGA President, Fred Wacker.

China has agreed to structural reforms in areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. These successful phase one negotiations have begun important progress towards rebalancing our trade relationship with China.

When China partially re-opened its market to U.S. beef and beef products in 2017, following a 13-year ban, many unscientific restrictions remained, including on age, product scope, use of veterinary drugs, and traceability.

Here are the key wins in this agreement for the cattle industry:

  • BSE restriction (30 months) is lifted, commensurate with OIE guidelines.
  • Recognize the U.S. beef and beef products’ traceability system that the United States already has in place, which exceeds World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines for bovine spongiform encephalopathy
  • China will establish Maximum Residue Levels on commonly used veterinary compounds including zeranol, trenbolone, and melengestrol acetate. China will maintain its ban on beta agonists until a risk analysis is complete.
  • China will establish a protocol for importation of live cattle / breeding stock.
  • China’s product scope aligns with the United States. Processed products are also approved, as well as ground beef and beef trimmings. 
  • China will use the U.S. registry system. Pre-certification will no longer be required for U.S. beef products.
  • Agreement enters into force in one month.

“Not only will this be a significant boost to the American economy, but no longer will our beef producers have to abide by unscientific, non-tariff trade barriers when exporting U.S. beef to China,” said Wacker. “This agreement will open an additional market and increase the demand for Montana beef, as well as create a stable price for our producers – both of which are extremely beneficial.”

China, the world’s biggest beef importer, bought $5 billion in beef last year and have already bought $6 billion this year. So far, the U.S. has only sold China $70 million of that $6 billion worth of beef in 2020. This Phase One agreement should significantly increase America’s share of that number.

MSGA would like to commend President Trump’s leadership in negotiating an enforceable phase one agreement with China which will have a positive impact on our agriculture industry.

Keni Reese
Manager of Communications, MSGA

To view more MSGA news, visit https://mtbeef.org/news/

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