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Beef Buzz News

As Concerns Over China Rise, They Remain a Top Tier Destination for US Beef

Tue, 06 Sep 2022 10:39:17 CDT

As Concerns Over China Rise, They Remain a Top Tier Destination for US Beef Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is featuring comments from Senior Director for International Trade and Market Access, Kent Bacus with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association talking about China and U.S. Beef exports.

Despite recent talk concerning U.S. beef exports into China because of tensions between the Chinese and United States regarding Taiwan, the latest beef export numbers for China/Hong Kong show over 240 million dollars sold in the month of June. These latest numbers show China/Hong Kong to be the largest value destination for U.S. beef in the month recorded. Of course, this was before House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial trip to Taiwan in recent weeks.

Kent Bacus says the Trump administration deserves a lot of credit for making China a top-tier destination.

“You look at China before the phase one agreement and even still today, they have come a long way, but they had a very protectionist mindset and it was not one that accepted international trade,” Bacus said.

Previously, China did not accept a lot of technology in food production, Bacus said, but because of the phase one agreement, China now accepts these technologies as being safe, therefore allowing large amounts of U.S. beef to enter China.

It took time, Bacus said to help China understand the importance, effectiveness, and safety of technologies such as hormones, antibiotics, and more to raise healthy livestock and crops to feed the world.

“Once the Chinese were able to understand that and realize that we weren’t trying to cause them harm, we were trying to feed them the same high-quality products we feed Americans, they had a change of heart and change of mindset,” Bacus said. “That takes a long time, and it takes a lot of investment and time and resources to do that.”

Bacus said the Biden administration and the Trump administration have two different mindsets when it comes to trade.

“The Trump administration was definitely looking at profitability and bringing jobs back to the U.S. and advancing trade standards and having the U.S. write a lot of these global standards country by country,” Bacus said. “The Biden Administration, it looked like they were going to switch back to more of a multilateral approach but still engage in a similar way to the Obama administration and go after tariffs, go after all of these trade barriers and still advance science-based trade.”

For the Biden administration, Bacus said Covid definitely impacted the mindset of individuals in power causing their trade mindset to go from a profitability mindset to more of a security mindset. This means they are looking at secured supply chains, and trusted trade partners, Bacus said, but also there is some hesitancy to rock the boat with labor and address tariff barriers.

“We still think there is an opportunity here to engage, whether it is on a multilateral/bilateral front, we are going to try to work with this administration, but we are staying true to our principals,” Bacus said. “We still think that if you are going to do non-tariff issues, you have got to address market access and tariff issues, otherwise it is going to be hard to enforce a lot of this.”

Bacus said maybe there will be a change of heart in the next couple of years, but they are going to continue to focus on trying to open the markets and improve the access that has already been achieved with the agreements made during the Trump Administration, the Obama Administration, and beyond.

Click the LISTEN BAR below to listen to Ron Hays and Kent Bacus talking about China and U.S. beef exports.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



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