U.S. Beef Going to China, Despite Decade Long BSE Ban UnresolvedThu, 02 Jul 2015 14:39:46 CDT
China is a point of frustration for U.S. cattle producers, as it one of the countries that has still not reopened its borders to U.S. beef. Trade restrictions were put in place in 2003 after the U.S. discovered a cow with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy or more commonly referred to as "Mad Cow" disease. The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) has said U.S. beef is safe, but the Chinese continue to ban U.S. beef and beef products, but that does not mean China is not getting any U.S. beef. Thousands of ton of U.S. beef are being transported through Hong Kong into mainland China. Rabobank livestock industry economist Don Close said that is a point of frustration right now, especially since China is making trade deals with other countries.
"They have the beef trade with Australia, they have the negotiations on the live animal trade and they have a trade agreement with Brazil," Close said. "-. If the U.S. is really going to be player in that Chinese trade, we're going to have to come to resolves with the trade disparities that the U.S. has with China, in regards to beef."
China is not part of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement at this point, but as Congress heard testimony on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation the Administration often tried to link China to the TPP. Close said President Obama has been openly talking about China in an attempt to gauge the possibility of China joining the Trans Pacific Partnership. Given the size of the agreement and the geographic area it covers, Close said he would not be surprised to see China be part of the TPP fold at some point.
The bottom-line for the U.S. cattle industry is that at some point the U.S. will have to find a way to officially reopen trade with the Chinese. In the meantime, thousands of tons of U.S. beef continue to be shipped through Hong Kong. Last year, an estimated 154 - thousand Metric tons of beef and beef products were exported to Hong Kong, which was up nearly 19 percent over the previous year. It's likely a sizable portion of that beef is being shipped into China, as their growing middle class is demanding more high protein food.
Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Don Close on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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