USDA has recently reached agreement with Chinese officials on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin exporting rice to China for the first time.
When the new rice protocol is fully implemented, the U.S. rice industry will have access to this critical market, significantly expanding export opportunities. U.S. rice exports can begin following the completion of an audit of U.S. rice facilities by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine.
Earlier in June, the USDA also announced the final details of a protocol to allow American companies to begin shipping beef exports to China after shipments were halted at the end of 2003. Producers and processors in Nebraska and Kansas are eligible to ship beef products to China, having followed the requirements set forth in the USDA Export Verification Program and according to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service export requirements. USDA maintains a public list of companies that are eligible, and will continue to update it as more companies complete the export documentation requirements.
The exporting of these products come after the U.S.-China 100-Day Action Plan announced by the Trump Administration on May 11, 2017.
“I welcome China taking this important step to start allowing U.S. beef imports after shutting them out over 13 years ago,” said Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, in a statement. “The President’s firm commitment to fair trade that benefits the United States has made this new U.S. beef export opportunity possible. I encourage China and all countries to base their requirements on international standards and science.”
In a statement on the rice agreement, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “This is another great day for U.S. agriculture and, in particular, for our rice growers and millers, who can now look forward to gaining access to the Chinese market. This market represents an exceptional opportunity today, with enormous potential for growth in the future. The agreement with China has been in the works for more than a decade and I’m pleased to see it finally come to fruition, especially knowing how greatly it will benefit our growers and industry.”
In addition, following a signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in June with the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China formally establishing a registration process for U.S. food manufacturers who export certain foods to China, the FDA published Guidance for Industry: Establishing and Maintaining a List of U.S. Milk and Milk Product, Seafood, Infant Formula and Formula for Young Children Manufacturers/Processors with Interest in Exporting to China. The Guidance explains what information exporting establishments should provide to the FDA to register. The FDA will use the information received to establish and update a list of eligible exporters in a manner consistent with the MOU, and the agency will update the list of establishments and products four times per year.