New US-China Deal Touted as 'Herculean Accomplishment'

Deal allows US beef into China; Chinese poultry into US
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 12, 2017 12:54 AM CDT
New Trade Deal Allows US Beef Into China
Chinese President Xi Jinping smiles at President Trump before dinner at Mar-a-Lago last month.   (Alex Brandon)

China will finally open its borders to US beef while cooked Chinese poultry is closer to hitting the American market as part of a US-China trade agreement. Trump administration officials hailed the deal as a significant step in their efforts to boost US exports and even America's trade gap with the world's second-largest economy, the AP reports. The US will also allow American companies to ship liquefied natural gas to China as part of the bilateral agreement reached following President Trump's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April. The agreement would end China's ban on beef imports, which was imposed in 2003 after a case of mad-cow disease and remained in place despite extensive efforts by the Bush and Obama administrations to get it removed.

In exchange, the US would allow the sale of cooked Chinese poultry—a move Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said could be done safely. Ross hailed the agreement as "a herculean accomplishment" forged in record time. "This is more than has been done in the whole history of US-China relations on trade," Ross told reporters Thursday evening at the White House. "Normally trade deals are denominated in multiple years, not tens of days." But while the agreement touches on many of the trade barriers American companies have long complained about, it remains to be seen just how far China will go to allow more American exports. "The key in these negotiations is specifics that are enforceable—literally the devil is in the details," says Scott Mulhauser, the former chief of staff at the US Embassy in Beijing. (More US-China relations stories.)

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