U.S. Senator Steve Daines recently returned from a trip to Asia, where he discussed trade, in particular—beef. Daines is hopeful China will soon resume U.S. beef imports the Republican announced during a press call with reporters.
China banned U.S. beef in 2003 after an incident with mad-cow disease in Washington State. Mad cow disease or BSE, short for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, was responsible for significant losses in U.S. international beef trade.
Daines said that while China has agreed in principal to lift the U.S. ban, there’s been a delay over details of making sure there’s a tracking system in place to trace individual animals and dealing with the issue of hormones.
President Trump recently raised the issue with China’s leader and Daines followed up with trip with other members of Congress to Beijing to meet directly with top officials.
“It’s time to move forward,” said Daines. “The bureaucrats have been slow rolling this. We’ve now made the appeal to President Xi (Jinping) to Premier Li (Keqiang) to Chairman Zedong and I’m confident we’re going to see some action because we’re now engaged at the highest levels in their government.”
According to the USDA, in 2013 the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) stated that “the U.S. status for BSE was upgraded to negligible risk, the highest status available. In 2015, the OIE determined that atypical BSE occurred spontaneously at a low rate in all cattle populations and would be excluded for BSE risk.”
Accompanying him, Daines said he hand carried 4 steaks from rancher Fred Wacker from Miles City along with other gifts to present to the Chinese officials.
The delegation also visited Tibet, Hong Kong and Japan.