Optimism that ban on US beef will be lifted
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.