Statement from President Steve Foglesong on China-Canada Beef Trade Deal
WASHINGTON – The following is a statement from National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) President Steve Foglesong regarding yesterday’s announcement that China will resume imports of Canadian beef. China has been closed to U.S. and Canadian beef imports since an outbreak of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in 2003. Despite the fact that Canada and the U.S. currently share the same international BSE-risk status, China remains the only major market completely closed to U.S. beef imports.
“China is thwarting us almost across the board on animal agriculture trade issues, while the level of U.S. engagement has been poor at best. Over the past three years, and two administrations, we’ve seen little progress in opening the Chinese market to U.S. beef. While the Administration has said this is a priority, they have failed to take action, despite the fact that China represents one of the largest potential growth markets for our industry, worth in excess of $200 million.
“In addition, Congress’ attitude of ‘do as we say, not as we do,’ when it comes to science-based trade protocols—as we’ve seen in the case of the cooked poultry issue with China—is continuing to hurt our reputation with international trading partners. This is further hindering our ability to move forward on trade deals that could open up the doors for U.S. beef overseas. We’re now in the position of being outpaced and outhustled by competing nations, putting American jobs and market share at risk.
“With ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers living outside U.S. borders, it’s absolutely critical that we expand our opportunities to sell beef in the international marketplace if we want to keep American family farms in business.”