China trade deal could be big news for Kentucky cattleman

05/31/2017 04:49 PM

A trade deal between the United States and China could be a boon for Kentucky cattlemen.

A new deal will once again open up U.S. beef to China. The Chinese will soon begin sending cooked poultry to the U.S. under the terms of the deal, which was announced earlier this month.

Kentucky agriculture commissioner Ryan Quarles is excited about the prospect of Kentucky-bred beef ending up in the Chinese markets for the first time since 2003.

In an interview in his Frankfort office, Quarles said the economic impact of the trade deal will likely have a much larger impact then some may realize.

Kentucky is the largest beef producer east of the Mississippi River with more than 1 million beef cows, according to the Kentucky Cattleman’s Association. With 1.3 billion people in China, which is the second largest beef consuming nation in the world, Quarles is optimistic for the future.

The Chinese banned US beef in late 2,003 after a cow tested positive for mad cow disease in Washington State, according to CNN. Quarles says the decision was an overreaction and beef cattle in the United States are safe to consume.

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