Montana Stockgrowers Call For Trade Deal With China


By Jess Sheldahl, Yellowstone Public Radio

via Montana Public Radio - September 17, 2019


Many are calling for the fast resolution to the Trump Administration's trade war with China. Among them are Montana cattle producers who see opportunity in Chinese markets.


China represents a relatively small share of U.S. beef markets. The country takes in about $37 million in U.S. beef each year. But Jay Bodner with the Montana Stockgrowers Association says there is a high potential in the market.


Its been estimated at roughly almost $400 million, you know just barely getting into the door," Bodner says.


MSGA sent a letter to Chinese officials through Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines last week. They reached out as a potential trading partner and expressed the importance of a fast resolution to trade disputes while touting the value of Montana beef.


Current Chinese tariffs on U.S. beef sit at about 37 percent. But the Montana Stockgrowers Association sees opportunity in Chinese markets when trade negotiations are finalized.


"We know that China is an ever increasing market opportunity for U.S. beef and Montana beef and we just barely got that market open in 2017," Bodner says. "But we know that there is tremendous potential there."


Bodner said MSGA understands it takes time to develop new markets.


Democratic U.S. Senator Jon Tester also called for urgency from the Trump administration in making a deal with China...