After Demands from Tester, China Takes Step Towards Lifting U.S. Beef Import Ban

Senator Urges Administration to Quickly Negotiate Bilateral Trade Deal for Montana Ranchers

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – After multiple demands from U.S. Senator Jon Tester, China and the U.S. have announced an agreement that could soon allow producers to export Montana beef to the world’s most populated country.

Tester contacted President Trump multiple times in advance of Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week and urged the President to strike a deal on American beef. Now that a tentative agreement has been reached, Tester is calling on the Trump Administration to quickly negotiate the terms needed to finalize a bilateral trade deal between the two nations.

“Opening up new markets for Montana ranchers will create jobs and help strengthen rural Montana communities,” Tester said. “This is a critical step in the right direction, and I will continue to put pressure on the administration to get this agreement done and allow Montana ranchers to sell our beef to the world’s most populated country.”

Tester will hold China accountable and make it clear that the country must come through on their end of the deal to allow beef imports from the U.S.

Tester sent a letter to President Trump on March 28 urging him to prioritize negotiations to open China to American beef exports. Tester followed up on that request a week later with a bipartisan letter to President Trump backed by 39 co-signers.

China is the second largest beef importer in the world, and has an import market that exceeds $2.5 billion annually. China has not accepted U.S. beef imports since 2003.

Tester specifically raised his concerns over China’s beef export ban, as well as other agriculture export issues such as Canadian Wheat Grading and exports to Cuba during a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer earlier this year.