Trade Progress with China Despite Pandemic Challenges

Brian German Agri-Business, Trade

trade progress

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently announced that there has been trade progress made on behalf of the U.S.-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement. China appears to be making inroads in expanding access for U.S. agriculture products and allowing for an increased number of tariff exclusions for importers of several different products such as soybeans, wheat, and other American commodities.

“These steps show that China is moving in the right direction to implement the Phase One agreement,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a March 24 statement. “We will continue to work with China to ensure full implementation of its commitments and look forward to seeing further improvement and progress as we continue our ongoing bilateral discussions.”

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has made updates to the Export Library for China which demonstrates expanded access for U.S. beef, which was one of the provisions under the trade agreement.  For the first time in almost 20 years, nearly all U.S. beef products will have access to the Chinese market after the country removed references to age restrictions.   China is also making adjustments for maximum residue levels that are permitted for three hormones commonly used in American beef production, allowing for more U.S. beef to be exported to China.  Other trade progress includes expanded market access for U.S. poultry and pork products.

In light of the challenges presented by COVID-19, China has indicated it will be streamlining the process for registering new American feed products that are eligible for export.  The process for approving Chinese importers has also been improved, with nearly 500 American beef plants already having received approval for export.  China has also updated the list of American facilities that are eligible to export distillers dried grains with solubles.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West