July 5, 2017
USMEF: Events showcase US beef's long-awaited return to China

On June 30 in Beijing, China, the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) participated in a media reception marking the return of US beef to China.
US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad addressed attendees, along with National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) president Craig Uden.
Other US guests included Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, and NCBA president-elect Kevin Kester. The reception was funded through support from the Nebraska Beef Council.
Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, emceed the event. He thanked Secretary Perdue and his USDA team for negotiating the final agreement that restored access for US beef, which had been absent from the Chinese market since the December 2003 BSE case. The market officially reopened June 12.
Perdue said it was a great source of pride to be on hand for the official reintroduction of US beef into China and expressed his commitment to providing consumers with a high-quality product.
"On behalf of President Trump and the people of America, we want to say "thank you" to our great customers here in China," Perdue said. "We want to respect your market and assure you that these products coming in are safe, wholesome, and very delicious."
Perdue also paid tribute to US cattle producers, who are enthusiastic to finally be able to supply the Chinese market.
"To those men and women who go out in the cold and birth those calves, we want to thank you for what you do to make this day possible. I am convinced that when our Chinese friends taste this tasty, wholesome, healthy, and safe US beef, they're going to want more of it," he said.
Branstad, who was confirmed as US ambassador to China on May 22, said the return of US beef to China is an important step forward in expanding US agricultural exports.
"This is an exciting day - we've been waiting nearly 14 years for this," Branstad said. "I want to express my excitement that one of my first official duties as ambassador from the United States to the People's Republic of China is to be here with my friend, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, to welcome American beef back to China. I want to reiterate our commitment to expanding trade and increasing American exports, and we believe beef is a great beginning for this process."
Uden echoed these sentiments, noting the excellent potential China holds for US beef exports.
"I'm honored to be here today to celebrate this important milestone in the relationship between the United States and China," Uden said. "This is a great day for US beef producers, and we look forward to supplying US beef to many Chinese consumers in the years to come."
Perdue and Uden were joined by importer Luan Richeng, vice president of COFCO Group, for a ceremonial carving of US prime rib - part of the first shipment of US beef to arrive in China.
On July 1 in Shanghai, Perdue helped launch US beef's return to China's commercial channels with a US beef promotion at a City Super supermarket.
He was joined by USDA Foreign Agricultural Service representatives, Ibach (representing the state of Nebraska), USMEF staff and US beef exporters.
The group distributed samples of US steak cuts and chuck eye roll to City Super customers. Funding support for this event was provided by the Nebraska Beef Council.
"It has been a long road back for US beef in China, and USMEF is extremely pleased to see such great enthusiasm for its return," Haggard said. "Buyer interest is very strong, and we are excited about the opportunity to work with US exporters and future customers in China to build a solid foundation for US beef in this dynamic market."


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