OTTAWA, Ontario – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (above) wrapped up a trade mission to China that yielded greater market access for Canada’s beef and pork producers.

Canada and China will engage a pilot program for the export of Canadian chilled/fresh beef and pork to China from Canadian processors approved to participate in the project. Additionally, China approved the import of frozen bone-in beef in accordance with an earlier agreement aimed at expanded market access to China for Canadian beef products.

The Canadian meat industry estimates the increased export values at nearly $100 million for pork and $125 million for beef over the next five years. The pilot project reflects the commitment by both countries to expand Canada’s access to Chinese markets and to participate in exploratory discussions toward a comprehensive trade agreement.

“China is a priority market offering significant economic opportunities for our Canadian farmers and food processors,” Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay said in a statement. “A stronger Canada-China trade relationship will unlock the untapped potential in our two countries’ agricultural ties, helping to expand the growth of the sector and create well-paying jobs for Canadians.”

China is Canada’s second largest trading partner, according to government data. Exports of Canadian agri-food products were valued at $6 billion in 2016. Top exports include frozen pork, soybeans, canola oil and dried peas.