China has given indications it might loosen restrictions and allow United States beef to come into the country.
China banned American beef in 2003. Top Chinese officials now indicate that could change.
Gov. Pete Ricketts says a reversal would have huge implications for Nebraska beef.
“And that is a big deal for Nebraska. It requires a lot of work left. It’s been an effort of a number of people who have been working with China to help open up the beef trade,” Ricketts tells reporters. “In fact, when I was over in China last year, we met with the NBC (Nebraska Beef Council) staff and when I met with government officials, I encouraged them as well to open up the beef trade.”
Ricketts says the Chinese market is big and could provide a big boost for Nebraska ranchers.
Ricketts says he looks forward to promoting beef during a scheduled trade mission to China this fall.
China is Nebraska’s fifth largest trading partner. The relationship could grow stronger if China follows through and re-opens its markets to American beef.
Nebraska exports approximately $10.5 billion of products and services each year, with $6.5 billion coming from the agricultural sector. Ricketts points out Nebraska’s share of beef exports have grown considerably the past 10 years, from around 4% of the American beef exported overseas to 18% at present.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]