Senators Urge Trump to Discuss U.S. Beef Trade with Chinese President

April 7, 2017 03:31 PM

President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart later today, and it could set the tone for trade between the two nations. Beef producers hope this could mean greater access to the world’s most populated country.

The president and President Xi Jinping will get together at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. According to the White House, this location will give the summit a more informal feel.

North Korea’s saber rattling is expected to top the list of priorities, followed by trade. During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Trump repeatedly complained about China’s unfair trade practices and manipulation of currency.

39 senators are sending a letter to President Trump, asking for beef to make it into the conversation. The senators outlining the export opportunities to Trump, saying reopening the Chinese beef market could give access to a market valued at $2.5 billion.

The group also emphasizes the quality of U.S. beef as a sticking point to open trade with China, but Dr. Scott Brown, an economist with the University of Missouri, there are still a few hurdles to overcome.

“The Chinese did announce several months ago that at this point they would allow U.S. beef, but we’ve seen none trade at this point,” said Dr. Brown. “We need some plants certified to be able to ship product to China before we can move any U.S. product at this point.”

Brown says with 1.3 billion people, there’s no denying the export potential into the Chinese market.

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