Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

China Agrees to Open Market to US Beef, Gas

China Agrees to Open Market to US Beef, Gas

Under the deal announced by the Trump administration on 11 May, China agreed to resume imports of USA beef by 16 July. The conditions must be consistent with global food safety and animal health standards and the 1999 Agricultural Cooperation Agreement.

Exports are set to begin as soon as possible, but by no later than 16 July 2017.

On the resumption of U.S. beef exports to China, Mr Ross said: "It's a very big market; it's at least a $2.5 billion market that's being opened".

The deal that opens up China to US beef while giving Uncle Sam some Chinese chicken.

The United States would also allow USA companies to ship liquefied natural gas to China as part of the bilateral agreement reached following President Donald Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April.

Trump administration officials hailed the deal as a significant advance toward boosting US exports and closing America's trade gap with the world's second-largest economy. "That is a huge shot in the arm for market access and opportunities for US beef". American beef exports dropped from $3 billion to $1.1 billion by 2004, but the market has since recovered to pre-2003 levels without exporting to China.

China will lift a ban on American beef and allow for its import no later than July 16. "When the Chinese people taste our high-quality US beef, there's no doubt in my mind that they'll want more of it".

The US in exchange will allow cooked Chinese poultry to enter US markets.

"That's an open door for huge business potential for US companies", said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities. But he can at least savor a breakthrough in his most important but contentious trade relationship.

By mid-July at the latest, China will accept shipments of US beef, said a US Department of Commerce news release.

Wilbur Ross the Commerce Secretary said the deal would help lower the deficit with China.

U.S. credit rating services, electronic payment services and bond underwriting businesses are now allowed into the Chinese market. "We're going to see a lot more trade dollars flow into the beef industry".

The 10-point trade plan addresses other industries such as energy, but China watchers say it doesn't go far enough to tackle President Donald Trump's goal of job creation.

The US also signaled that it was eager to export more liquefied natural gas, saying China could negotiate any type of contract, including long-term contracts, with US suppliers.

The agreement also includes opening a door for exports of US liquified natural gas.

NAMI president and CEO Barry Carpenter said the deal is "a significant, concrete" accomplishment resulting from the 100-day plan, and "we are thankful for the hard work on the issue by both leaders".

"If you think the problem is the trade deficit, you can not chicken out on China and go after the small countries", he said.

China is turning more to natural gas as a way to reduce its dependence on coal and combat the country's extensive air pollution.

Chinese analysts like Professor Zhao Kejin called it a good start for Sino-US ties.

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