Friday, China promised to ease restrictions on imports of U.S. beef and to speed up work on opening its market for government purchases of other goods. Offficials gave no timetable for when full scale imports might be allowed although it was suggested earlier it might be in July. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Colin Woodall says news of the possible opening is very exciting but there are more bridges to cross.
Woodall says once that opening is fully achieved it means a huge market for U.S. beef.
He says the biggest hurdle yet to overcome is safety related to BSE concerns.
Woodall says when the United States achieved the lowest risk status for BSE in May, that may have lead the Chinese to reconsider and led to this announcement following last week’s Joint Commission Meeting on Commerce and Trade.