China, US reach agreement on beef, poultry and natural gas

13 May, 2017, 10:00 | Author: Glen Fletcher
  • President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands while walking at Mar-a Lago estate after a bilateral meeting in Palm Beach Florida

The opening of the mainland China market to US beef and financial services may seem like a painful concession at first glance, but China may in fact have gotten the better part of the deal.

China has purchased negligible amounts of US beef products since imposing a ban in 2003 over concerns about "mad cow" disease.

The U.S. will publish a rule on the issue no later than July 16, 2017.

Last fall, then NC President Barb Cooksley and then NCBA President-Elect Craig Uden helped host a Chinese delegation focused on resuming market access for US beef.

And the new agreements also formalize the ability of China to import natural gas from the United States; China already imports significant volumes of US liquefied natural gas.

A guarantee by China to review the applications of eight USA biotechnology products and approve or deny them exclusively on the basis of safety.

China had conditionally lifted its longstanding import ban on American beef a year ago, but few purchases have been made.

Trump administration officials hailed the deal as a significant step in their efforts to boost U.S. exports and narrow America's trade gap with the world's second-largest economy.

"China just agreed that the USA will be allowed to sell beef, and other major products, into China once again". The U.S. and China have also agreed to resolve outstanding issues with importing Chinese origin cooked poultry to the U.S.as soon as possible. "We do not intend to endanger anybody's health or safety in the USA", he said.

President Trump touted the deal on Twitter this morning and fired back at critics saying "this is real news". The agreement also says the United States "welcomes" investment from Chinese entrepreneurs - language important to Beijing amid rising concern in America that such investments could pose a national security threat.

China is turning more to natural gas as a way to reduce its dependence on coal and combat the country's extensive air pollution.

China imports about $2.5 billion in beef from other countries. The areas dealt with in the initial agreement represent export opportunities that American companies have long sought. China will issue guidelines to allow US -owned suppliers of electronic payment services to begin licensing processes. In exchange, the US would allow the sale of cooked Chinese poultry - a move Ross said could be done safely.

The Chinese market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion for the USA beef industry.

America's trade deficit in goods and services with China totalled $310 billion previous year, by far the largest imbalance with any country.

China's middle class has grown exponentially in recent years. The Obama administration continued that effort but reduced the frequency of the talks to once a year.

"Both sides have a deep and close understanding that the U.S".

On Friday, when asked whether the trade talks with the United States were related to North Korea, Zhu said economic issues should not be politicized.

But with China, which accounts for half of America's trade deficit, Washington is now assuming a starkly different attitude.

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