The USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has also updated its online Export Library specifying China’s requirements for certifying U.S. beef being shipped there.
These actions are part of the U.S.-China 100-Day Action plan announced on May 11 by the Trump administration to resume exports of U.S. beef to China.
China has emerged as a major beef buyer in recent years, with imports increasing from $275 million in 2012 to $2.5 billion in 2016, according to USDA figures. However, the United States has been banned from China's market since December 2003 due to a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as "mad cow" disease. Even without access to the Chinese market, the United States remains the world's fourth largest beef supplier at more than $5.4 billion in exports for 2016.
U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Philip Seng said his members are eager to start exporting beef to China after being shut out of the market for more than 13 years.
However, he warned, “It is important to note that the market-opening agreement includes requirements that will involve a period of adjustment for the U.S. industry. Meeting these requirements will add costs and this will mean that U.S. beef is priced at a premium compared to other suppliers in the market.”