Op­ti­mism that ban on US beef will be lifted

China Daily (Canada) - - NEWSCAPSULE -

An of­fi­cial with the United States Meat Ex­port Fed­er­a­tion (USMEF) said there is “rea­son for op­ti­mism” that China may again al­low im­ports of US beef.

Joe Schuele, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor for the Den­ver, Colorado-based USMEF, made his com­ment in an e-mail to China Daily last week fol­low­ing re­marks by US Agri­cul­ture Sec­re­tary Tom Vil­sack’s at the end of the 24th US-China Joint Com­mis­sion on Com­merce and Trade (JCCT) meet­ing in Bei­jing on Dec 23.

Vil­sack said that some head­way was made “on a num­ber of trade is­sues with China” as a re­sult of the talks.

China banned the im­port of US beef in 2003 af­ter an out­break of mad cow disease was re­ported in Wash­ing­ton State.

“De­mand has soared over the past 15 to 18 months, as ev­i­denced by the surge in China’s beef im­ports,” Schuele wrote. “Meat buy­ers, chefs and other po­ten­tial cus­tomers in China are fa­mil­iar with the at­tributes of US beef be­cause of its pop­u­lar­ity in the greater China re­gion, but the mar­ket re­mains closed to US beef.”

Ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion from the United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture (USDA) and the USMEF, the value of US beef ex­ports in 2012 ex­ceeded $5 bil­lion.

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