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AMI Applauds Senate Passage Of China PNTR

Tuesday, September 19, 2000

Washington, DC - The American Meat Institute (AMI) today hailed the U.S. Senate’s approval of Permanent Normalized Trade Relations (PNTR) with China as a historic move toward bolstering bolster meat and poultry exports to the world’s most populous nation.

“Today’s Senate approval of China PNTR is a historic step forward for American agriculture and American meat,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle. “With China's population of 1.3 billion people and a bilateral agreement to drastically reduce tariffs for imported U.S. meat products, granting China PNTR and bringing China into the World Trade Organization will give our industry access to the largest market in the world.”

In close cooperation with other agricultural and agri-business organizations and companies, AMI has lobbied vigorously for passage of PNTR status for China. As a rapidly growing economy, meat consumption in China is expected to continue to rise in the next decade. The meat and poultry sector – the largest sector of the U.S. agricultural economy – should benefit from an expanding Chinese economy, rising meat consumption and lower tariffs.

The landmark Bilateral Agreement on U.S.-China Agricultural Cooperation – signed last December -- permits any Chinese importer to import pork or beef from any federally inspected U.S. meat plant. Upon China’s entry into the WTO, it will slash beef tariffs from 45 percent to 12 percent by 2004, one of the sharpest drops for any agricultural tariff. Tariffs on pork and poultry will be reduced from 20 to 12 percent by 2004. In addition, China has pledged to eliminate export subsidies and provide the right for U.S. companies to import and distribute products without going through state-trading enterprises.

“Over the long term, access to China’s vast market will be important to the growth of the U.S. meat sector,” Boyle said. “China’s agreement to drastically reduce tariffs on U.S. meat upon entry into the WTO will provide a significant boost to U.S. meat exports and U.S. agriculture.”

AMI represents the interests of packers and processors of beef, pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their suppliers throughout North America. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute provides legislative, regulatory and public relations services, conducts scientific and economic research, offers marketing and technical assistance and sponsors education programs.

For more information contact:
Janet Riley
Vice President, Public Affairs

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