Beef industry groups are giddy about the news of a trade agreement between the U.S. and China that would allow beef exports to the Chinese market. Late Thursday the White House announced the agreement on several key trade issues, and that beef exports would begin no later than July 16, 2017.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Craig Uden issued a statement applauding the announcement.

“After being locked out of the world’s largest market for 13 years, we strongly welcome the announcement that an agreement has been made to restore U.S. beef exports to China,” Uden said. “It’s impossible to overstate how beneficial this will be for America’s cattle producers, and the Trump Administration deserves a lot of credit for getting this achieved. We look forward to providing nearly 1.4 billion new customers in China with the same safe and delicious U.S. beef that we feed our families. I look forward to the day when we can serve President Trump and President Xi a dry-aged American-made New York strip in Beijing.”

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) issued the following statement:

“USMEF welcomes today’s announcement that the United States and China have reached a high-level agreement that will allow U.S. beef to reenter the Chinese market after a prolonged absence of more than 13 years.”

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) President Kenny Graner said, “Market access to China is crucial for U.S. cattle producers.  Success in this arena will drive the U.S. cattle market and increase demand for U.S beef.”

The Chinese market is estimated to be worth $2.6 billion for the U.S. beef industry. Twice previously, China has agreed to open its market to U.S. beef, but regulatory hurdles have prevented the completion of an agreement.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “This is tremendous news for the American beef industry, the agriculture community, and the U.S. economy in general.  We will once again have access to the enormous Chinese market, with a strong and growing middle class, which had been closed to our ranchers for a long, long time.  I commend the persistence of President Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the U.S. Trade Representative’s officials, and our own USDA professionals.  I also thank our Chinese counterparts, who worked so hard to get this agreement into place.  When the Chinese people taste our high-quality U.S. beef, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll want more of it.”