WASHINGTON (DTN) -- U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and other beef industry officials marked the distribution of the first United States beef in China in 13 years, in a ceremony held in Beijing.
In a news release, USDA said Perdue joined with U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to slice a Nebraska prime rib in the ceremony, formally marking the return of U.S. beef to the Chinese market after a 13-year hiatus. Perdue celebrated the reintroduction of American beef products to China after shipments were halted at the end of 2003 after the discovery of a single case of mad cow disease in the U.S.
The return of U.S. beef and beef products is a part of the U.S.-China 100-day action plan announced by the President Donald Trump's administration on May 11, with the first shipment of U.S. beef arriving in China on June 19, USDA said.
"Beef is a big deal in China, and I'm convinced that when the Chinese people get a taste of U.S. beef, they're going to want more of it," Perdue said in a statement.
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"These products coming into China are safe, wholesome, and very delicious. This is also a good harbinger of the kind of relationship that can be developed. We hope there are other things we can cooperate on, and we're going to use U.S. beef as the forerunner."
Also on Friday, Perdue held a series of meetings with Chinese government officials including Vice Premier Wang Yang and Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu, to discuss expanding trade between the U.S. and China, USDA said in the news release.
Following today's events in Beijing, Perdue planned to travel Saturday to Shanghai, where he will tour a major Chinese supermarket where other American products are offered.
Perdue had scheduled a call with U.S. reporters early in the day, but it was canceled because of his travel schedule.
Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at email@example.com
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