On May 11, the White House announced an agreement on several key trade issues between the U.S. and China, including that U.S. beef exports to China would begin no later than July 16, 2017.

According to Drovers, “the Chinese market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion for the U.S. beef industry. Twice previously, China has agreed to open its market to U.S. beef, but regulatory hurdles have prevented the completion of an agreement.”

Following the announcement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “This is tremendous news for the American beef industry, the agriculture community and the U.S. economy in general. We will once again have access to the enormous Chinese market, with a strong and growing middle class, which had been closed to our ranchers for a long, long time … I also thank our Chinese counterparts, who worked so hard to get this agreement into place.  When the Chinese people taste our high-quality U.S. beef, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll want more of it.”

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. released a statement from its president, Craig Uden, praising the announcement as well. “After being locked out of the world’s largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China,” he said. “It’s impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for America’s cattle producers, and the Trump Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved. We look forward to providing nearly 1.4 billion new customers in China with the same safe and delicious U.S. beef that we feed our families.”