U.S. Senator Steve Daines today announced that an agreement has been reached to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef no later than July 16, 2017. A formalized agreement is expected to be reached in the coming weeks.
"Opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef is a win for Montana's producers," Daines stated. "With over 95 percent of the world's consumers living outside of the U.S., access to foreign markets is critical to growing good-paying jobs and maintaining Montana's strong economy. In a state where there are nearly three times as many cattle as people, opening Chinese markets to Montana beef is essential to our state's number one economic driver: agriculture."
On April 17, 2017, Daines returned from leading an official congressional delegation trip to China where he hand-delivered four Montana steaks from Miles City to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and pressed Chinese officials to finalize negotiations and re-open Chinese markets to U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Premier Li.
On April 5, 2017, Daines led 38 Senators in a letter to President Donald J. Trump asking him to prioritize reopening China's market to U.S. beef in his discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week.
On March 23, 2017, during a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, Daines pressed Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on the importance expanding trade opportunities for Montana agriculture.
On March 9, 2017, Daines met with the United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer. During the meeting Daines hand-delivered a letter urging him to prioritize opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef.
On February 1, 2017, Daines met with Trump's Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and discussed expanding access to foreign markets for Montana agriculture, including reaching an agreement to allow Montana beef into China.
On January 18, 2017, Daines met with Trump's Secretary for the U.S. Department of State, Rex Tillerson where they discussed opening Chinese markets to U.S. beef imports.
On January 4, 2017, Daines met with Trump's Secretary for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, urging him to prioritize expanding access to foreign markets for Montana agricultural products, including opening China's market to U.S. beef.
On December 6, 2016, Daines wrote to then President-elect Trump urging him to level the playing field for Montana producers by working to open Chinese markets to U.S. beef.
On October 5, 2016, Daines penned an editorial on the importance of ending the ban on U.S. beef imports for Montana producers.
On September 22, 2016, Daines welcomed news that China would begin to end the ban on U.S. beef that began in 2003.
In May 2016, Daines led a Congressional Delegation fact-finding mission to China. During the visit, the first issue Daines pressed the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zhang Dejiang was on ending the ban on U.S. beef. Daines also hand-delivered a letter from the Montana Stockgrowers Association to Zhang.
On July 13, 2016, Daines pressed Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai on opening open their market to Montana beef.
Daines spent almost six years in China with Procter and Gamble expanding markets for American brands and products to Chinese consumers.