Both parties are said to have reached a consensus agreement on ten different areas, including shipments of U.S. beef to China by mid-July 2017. It is estimated the Chinese market represents around US$2.6 billion worth for the U.S. beef producers. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) classed the agreement as a ‘historic reopening’ of China to U.S. beef.

“After being locked out of the world’s largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China. It’s impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for America’s cattle producers, and the Trump Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved”, said Craig Uden, President, NCBA. “We look forward to providing nearly 1.4 billion new customers in China with the same safe and delicious U.S. beef that we feed our families. I look forward to the day when we can serve President Trump and President Xi a dry-aged American-made New York strip in Beijing”, he added.

The U.S. Meat Exporters Federation (USMEF) also praised the agreement. “USMEF and its members greatly appreciate the efforts of the Trump administration and officials at USDA and USTR”, said a statement.

China’s ban on U.S. beef dates to 2003, following an outbreak of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (‘mad cow’s disease). Restrictions were lifted in September 2016 but little progress were made on export negotiations.