China made a move on the question of U.S. beef imports, and will begin importing boneless beef less than 30 months of age according to an announcement released today. Officials had agreed in an April meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade in Washington to reopen the market to U.S. beef by June 30; however the limited opening to boneless beef isn't enough, Johanns says.
"While we appreciate China's efforts since April to resume market access for U.S. beef, we are disappointed with China's announcement today of a limited market opening that includes only U.S. boneless beef under 30 months of age," he says in a press statement. "We have fully described the numerous safeguards in our system, answered many questions and delivered an abundance of factual, science-based assurances that U.S. beef is safe."
Johanns says it's time for China to open its market to all U.S. beef products, in accordance with the international standards established by the OIE. "We will not be satisfied until a full range of U.S. beef products are once again accepted into the Chinese market. These are the very same products that American and many consumers in nations across the globe safely enjoy every day," he notes.
Johanns is in Geneva this week working on World Trade Organization talks on ag trade issues.