Will U.S. beef producers have a seat at Chinaís table?

If trade restrictions for U.S. beef bound for China are relaxed, the result could be mind-boggling.


Burt Rutherford, Commentary, BEEF Magazine†

Jan 08, 2020


It appears that much of the tumult and uncertainty over trade will finally come to resolution, and thatís very good news for beef producers. Thatís not to say global tensions are lessened, as recent military actions in the Mideast clearly emphasize. But for beef producers, 2020 is looking much better.


Indeed, this year may vault the U.S. beef business into a more competitive player in the world protein market. And it may also be the year where the global protein trade becomes a more significant factor in cattle prices here at home. Thatís because China has overtaken the U.S. as the biggest beef importer in the world.


Before we discuss the Red Dragon, however, letís consider North America and USMCA, which has the potential to be very significant in its own right. The Senate Finance Committee approved the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) and its final hurdle will be passage by the full Senate. As Iím writing this, I havenít heard of a timeline for Senate consideration, but letís hope itís very soon. A quick call or email to your senators would be timely. BEEF, as youíd expect, urges you to urge your senators to vote for approval.


Now China. President Trump has tweeted that the Phase One trade deal with China will be signed on Jan. 15. No details about the specifics of the deal have been released, but as soon as we know whatís in store for beef producers, weíll let you know.


However, Trump says the deal is going to be huge for U.S. agriculture, as much as $40 billion in sales annually, according to Ron Hays with the Oklahoma Farm Report. Hays recently visited with Erin Borror, economist for the U.S. Meat Export Federation, and what she has to say is potentially exciting...


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