WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced an update to its Export Library to China on March 20. The update showed expanded access for US beef and pork shipped to China under the United States-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement.

The US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) praised the development as a positive outcome for American meat companies.

“This is an exciting day for the US beef and pork industries, which have waited a long time to have more meaningful and reliable access to China, and USMEF thanks USTR and USDA for their tireless efforts to negotiate and implement the phase one trade agreement,” said Dan Halstrom, president of USMEF.

USMEF said that US beef would continue to gain market share in the fastest-growing beef market in the world while shipments of US pork have increased in recent months.

“The changes announced in the Export Library will benefit pork exporters looking to expand their business in China, as well as producers and everyone in the US supply chain,” Halstrom said. “US pork and beef still face retaliatory duties in China, but a tariff exclusion process implemented by the Chinese government earlier this month is providing some level of relief. While elimination of all retaliatory duties is still the best way for China to level the playing field for US red meat, the exclusion process is expanding opportunities for importers and for the US industry.”

China is working through the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which has been traced to China’s Hubei Province and linked to wet markets in Wuhan. The United States is dealing with its own outbreak of COVID-19 that is affecting the entire country.