U.S. regains access for beef exports to huge Chinese market

Chicken meat for sale at a market in the Anhui Province of China

In Beijing, Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao told reporters that the early results of the agreement showed that economic collaboration between the two sides "couldn't be closer".

"It's another encouraging sign that Trump's willing to cooperate with China rather than adopt the confrontational and protectionist stance he threatened during the election", said Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, about Thursday's agreement. The forged deal marks a promising shift in Chinese-American relations under the Trump administration.

While Trump has said that he was willing to agree to less favorable trade terms for the United States in trade negotiations with China in order to enlist China' support in stopping North Korea's aggressive nuclear and ballistic missiles programs, Ross said there was no "quid pro quo in these discussions".

Joshua Meltzer, a senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution, called Ross's characterization "an overstatement, to put it mildly", but said the agreement marked a positive initial step to come out of the renewed US-Chinese comprehensive economic dialogue.

In financial services, China said it would begin allowing wholly foreign-owned financial groups to offer credit rating services in China by July 16.

"Opening the market for electronic payments is mainly symbolic", said Ker Gibbs, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. "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", Perdue said. "This should have been done years ago when it would have made a difference. At this point, the domestic players are well entrenched so foreign companies will have a hard time entering the China market".

Restoring trade with China would give US beef access to 1.4 billion new customers - a fifth of the world's population - and a middle class that is larger than the entire population of the USA, he said.

The United States should be cleared to start exporting beef to China by mid-July.

China's ban on US beef dates to 2003, following an outbreak of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow's disease).

MasterCard welcomed the announcement, saying it looked forward "to having full and prompt market access in China".

While the 10-point agreement is mainly about China's promises to open its market wider to United States firms and buy more of their products, Washington has also promised to facilitate Chinese bank entrance into the U.S. market and to allow sales of cooked poultry products. "As long as they can comply with the normal rules, they will get access".

It's been almost 14 years since China banned imports of US beef following the December 23, 2003 announcement that a Holstein cow had been diagnosed with BSE.

"Because the risky foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in China, we need assurances from the Secretary of Agriculture that we are not entering a quid pro quo with China as we did with Brazil, with which we agreed to relax our FMD restrictions in return for renewed access to the Brazilian market". "I guess that helps with the administration's focus on the deficit, but it would be good to see some action on Made in China 2025 and the other very aggressive industrial policies".

"That's going to be the challenge, and hopefully the Trump administration doesn't start declaring victory", he said.

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