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US Continues to Implement Phase One Agreement with China

May 21, 2020

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced additional progress in the implementation of the agriculture-related provisions of the US-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement (The Agreement) this week, which entered into force on Feb. 14, 2020. Recent actions described below build upon the actions announced by USDA and USTR on February 25March 10, and March 24.

“China is a market of tremendous potential for US agriculture and these actions will help US exporters expand their sales there,” US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “We look forward to continued cooperative work with China on implementation of Phase One commitments, and immediate increases in US exports of all manner of agricultural products.”

Because of this continued progress due to the Agreement:

·    US blueberries and California Hass avocados can now be exported to China. This new market access will provide California avocado growers and blueberry growers from around the United States with new opportunities to market their products to Chinese consumers in the coming years. In 2019, China imported a record volume of fresh fruits and vegetables exceeding $8.6 billion.  

·    US barley for processing, along with the forage products Timothy hay, alfalfa hay pellets and cubes, and almond meal pellets and cubes can now be exported to China. In 2019, China imported $1.5 billion of barley used as feed and for malt beverage production, and a record $500 million of forage products. 

·    In recent weeks, China updated its lists of US facilities eligible to export beef, pork, poultry, seafood, dairy, and infant formula products to China. China’s lists now include 499 beef, 457 pork, 470 poultry, 397 seafood, and 253 dairy and 9 infant formula facilities. As a result of these actions, more US facilities are eligible to export US food and agricultural products to China than ever before. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service continues to update its export library, which provides additional guidance for US meat and poultry meat exporters, including information related to the scope of products that may be exported to China, China’s labeling requirements, and other guidance.

·    China published on May 15 a new domestic standard for dairy permeate powder for human consumption that will allow imports of this product from the United States in the future. In 2019, China imported nearly $12 billion of dairy products from around the world. 

China continues to implement its tariff exclusion process in an attempt to facilitate imports of US commodities. USDA continues to publish guidance for US exporters seeking to participate in this process (USDA Global Agricultural Information Network). USTR is continuing to process and where appropriate grant exclusions of products from China. USDA also is implementing its obligations under the agreement. 

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “China has worked with the United States to implement measures that will provide greater access for US producers and exporters to China’s growing food and agricultural markets. Under President Trump’s leadership, we fully expect this agreement to be a success.”

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