Once describing China as a “currency manipulator” and labelling them guilty of “unfair trade practices”, US president Donald Trump’s administration has now agreed to a 10-part trade deal with China.
The deal will allow imports of US beef to China and the US will allow imports of Chinese cooked poultry.
Chinese markets have been closed to US beef since 2003 due to the outbreak of human BSE — blocking US producers from one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world.
China is the world’s second largest beef market by value and the fastest growing among the five largest beef markets according to GlobalData research.
Click to enlarge
The US has long banned Chinese cooked poultry due to concerns about food safety.
In 2007 a number of pet food brands recalled products made in China after it was determined they were causing pets to become sick or die.
And in 2008 tens of thousands of chickens were culled due to the use of melamine in their feed which makes both the meat and eggs toxic.
In 2016 these concerns were partially put to rest by a 2016 Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) report which recommended that the US move forward with the regulatory process of determining Chinese cooked poultry slaughter systems as equivalent to those in the US.
Though the deal lacks the magnitude of the now dead Trans-Pacific Partnership for some it represents a shift of the Trump administration towards the old status quo: attempts at calm and collected mutually beneficial trade deals.