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U.S. Meat Industry Says 'Bon Voyage

Wednesday, April 5, 2000

Washington, DC - The American Meat Institute (AMI) expressed optimism that the first shipment of U.S. meat to China - which left San Francisco yesterday - will usher in a new era of liberalized trade with China.

AMI also said that to ensure growth in U.S.-China trade, Permanent Normalized Trade Relation (PNTR) status must be granted to China. PNTR status is essential to give the U.S. access to the Chinese market and to lower tariff rates dramatically for U.S. products.

The first meat shipment was air freighted from San Francisco to Shanghai and included U.S. pork ribs, pork sausage and beef. The product was imported by City Supermarket Company Limited, an upscale retailer in Shanghai.

China recently issued regulations to implement the landmark Bilateral Agreement on U.S.-China Agricultural Cooperation. The agreement permits any Chinese importer to import pork or beef from any federally inspected U.S. meat plant. U.S.companies have been importing large quantities of a variety of Chinese products for decades and this latest move to open China’s borders to U.S. meat products will ensure that trade between the nations moves two ways.

“U.S. access to China's immense market of 1.2 billion people will benefit both the U.S. meat industry and Chinese consumers,” said AMI’s Vice President of International Trade Len Condon. “China’s willingness to implement this agricultural agreement in good faith will open doors to U.S. products and permit Chinese citizens to choose the finest meat products produced anywhere in the world.”

Condon also said that China’s move will help ensure that PNTR status is granted, which will knock tariff rates down for U.S. exporters. Without a Congressional vote in favor of PNTR, other nations around the world - like Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, France and Canada - will take control of the enormous Chinese market.

“The meat industry is the largest sector of U.S. agriculture and agriculture is the largest sector of the U.S. economy,” Condon said. “Ensuring the health of the U.S. meat industry through expanded exports is good for agriculture and ultimately
good for the U.S. economy.”

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
James Ratchford
Manager, Public Affairs

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