Nation & World

U.S. finalizes talks to resume beef exports to China after ban

Cole Jamison (right), 18, of Anamosa leads one of his beef cattle from the barn to the trailer as his sister, Katelyn Hammer of Harper follows at their farm in Amber on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Cole has been in 4-H for 9 years and FFA for 4 years and has been showing animals at the Great Jones County Fair for 9 years. This year he is showing 6 beef cattle in the 4-H/FFA Beef Show. He will be attending Iowa State University this fall to major in animal science. Visit www.thegazette.com to see a video of his day loading up his animals to get them to the beef weigh-in on Tuesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Cole Jamison (right), 18, of Anamosa leads one of his beef cattle from the barn to the trailer as his sister, Katelyn Hammer of Harper follows at their farm in Amber on Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Cole has been in 4-H for 9 years and FFA for 4 years and has been showing animals at the Great Jones County Fair for 9 years. This year he is showing 6 beef cattle in the 4-H/FFA Beef Show. He will be attending Iowa State University this fall to major in animal science. Visit www.thegazette.com to see a video of his day loading up his animals to get them to the beef weigh-in on Tuesday. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

CHICAGO — Final details are in place to allow U.S. exporters to resume beef shipments to China, U.S. officials said on Monday, allowing companies to prepare for their first shipments in 14 years.

After concluding talks with Beijing, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said U.S. producers must track the birthplace of cattle born in the United States that are destined for export to China.

In another rule, U.S. beef shipments to China must come from cattle less than 30 months of age, according to the USDA. The meat should not contain the growth promotant ractopamine, found in the drug Optaflexx, made by the Eli Lilly and Co unit Elanco.

China banned U.S. beef in 2003 after a U.S. scare over mad cow disease. Previous attempts by Washington to reopen the world’s fastest-growing beef market have fizzled out, but the quick progress in finalizing terms for shipments has raised hopes of U.S. farmers.

Washington and Beijing finalized details on export protocols ahead of a deadline, set under a broader trade deal last month, for shipments to begin by mid-July.

China’s beef imports increased to $2.5 billion last year from $275 million in 2012, according to the USDA.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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