The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) announced “continued progress” concerning the agriculture provisions in the U.S. China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement. The first phase went into effect on February 14, 2020 and has since seen new actions taken in the following months, even in the face of the global pandemic.
This announcement of continued progress comes amid other tensions in the U.S.-China relationship, including the origins of the novel coronavirus. The joint release highlights anticipated market access gains for blueberries and California Hass avocados, as well as barley and forage products. USTR and USDA also announced that China fulfilled its commitment to revise the lists of eligible U.S. facilities for exporting meat to include a record high number of facilities producing beef, pork, poultry, seafood, dairy, and instant formula. USTR and USDA also highlighted China’s revision to the domestic standard for diary permeate powder that will allow U.S. products to be imported in the future.
Given other challenges in the U.S.-China relationship, the timing for a “Phase 2” deal is uncertain.