WASHINGTON – The  Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) released details of a trade deal between the US and China for the meat, poultry and live cattle breeding industries.

In its market overview section, USTR said the Chinese market is demanding more imported beef, pork and poultry due to a rise in incomes and the ongoing African Swine Fever outbreak.

The government agency pointed out that China allowed US-produced beef back into the country in June 2017. Also before the trade deal was signed, 172 US poultry processing plants were approved to export products to China during November 2019.

“The Phase One agreement addresses these issues and should give US companies streamlined access to China’s market while providing Chinese consumers with a wider variety of American beef, pork, and poultry products to choose from in the future,” USTR said in the overview. “While Chinese livestock producers already import large volumes of livestock genetics from the United States, the Phase One agreement will provide an opportunity in the future for US exports of high-quality live breeding cattle.”

China also agreed to not require any routine audits or inspections of US meat and poultry facilities, but China may perform risk-based audits with the US Dept. of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). China can also inspect meat and poultry products at ports of entry.

Listed below are further details USTR released regarding trade with China.


  • Remove age restrictions for US beef and beef products upon completing a risk assessment;
  • Expand the allowable product scope for US beef and processed beef products to more closely align with those products that the United States allows for domestic consumption and export;
  • Recognize the US beef and beef products’ traceability system that the United States already has in place, which exceeds World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) guidelines for bovine spongiform encephalopathy; and
  • Adopt internationally-accepted maximum residue levels for three widely-used veterinary drugs (zeranol, trenbolone acetate, and melangesterol acetate).


  • Expand the allowable product scope for US pork and pork products, including bungs and intestines and processed products.


  • Finalize a protocol for the regionalization of poultry diseases, thereby ensuring that future trade disruptions will be minimized and solely based on internationally-accepted practices;
  • Fully lift the ban on other poultry commodities, including live birds; and
  • Abide by OIE standards for international trade of poultry products.

All meat, pork and poultry

  • Address the backlog of facilities awaiting approval and accelerate the process for future applicants by publishing within 20 business days of receipt the updated list of USDA-approved facilities;
  • Permit, consistent with USDA directives, the use of replacement certificates;
  • Begin utilizing USDA’s Public Health Information System to facilitate the use of electronic transmission of export health certificates, greatly reducing the workload for exporters and regulators; and
  • Conduct as soon as possible a risk assessment for ractopamine in cattle and swine, consistent with Codex Alimentarius Commission and FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) risk assessment guidance based on a previously conducted JECFA risk assessment.

Live breeding cattle

  • Negotiate a protocol governing the export of US live breeding cattle to China.