China lifts 30-month age restriction on US beef imports
China and the US have signed an agreement whereby the Asian country will remove the 30-month age limit for beef it imports from the US.
The ‘Phase 1′ Trade Agreement between the US and China – signed by Donald Trump last week – will also see China recognise the US’ beef and beef products traceability system.
The agreement covers agricultural and food products moving between the two countries, across several sectors.
China shall, within one month of the date of entry into force of this agreement, eliminate the cattle age requirements for the importation of US beef and beef products.
Under the agreement, the US will also commit to “meeting or exceeding” the requirements for maintaining ‘negligible risk status’ for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). In return, China has committed to not impose import restrictions on US beef products as long as the latter country’s BSE status doesn’t change.
In terms of hormones, China will adopt ‘maximum residue levels’ for three hormones used in US beef cattle.
For the importation of live breeding cattle, the agreement states that, within one month of its coming into force, the two countries will “commence technical discussions” on preparing a US export health certificate, with a view to begin trading in live breeding cattle “as soon as possible”.
The agreement was broadly welcomed in the US, with several agricultural and beef production lobby groups hailing the deal.
The agreement is set to come into force on Monday, March 16.