The dramatic increase in purchasing of U.S. farm products that China has agreed to will be spread among a wide range of commodities and sectors, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told Agri-Pulse Wednesday.

Perdue, who was speaking just ahead of the White House ceremony where President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He were signing the “phase one” deal, said the deal would be implemented within 30 days and that China had agreed to ease restrictions on U.S. beef. 

“We think we will begin to see trade flow quickly,” said Perdue.

He said that many commodities would be involved in the purchasing in order to reach the $40 billion in increased Chinese agricultural imports promised over the next two years. 

“It’s intentional and purposeful that no specific commodities are outlined,” he said of the deal. 

Perdue did note that, on beef, the Chinese had refused to accept beef from cattle that were older than 30 months. “That’s going to be relaxed,” he added.  “There’s going to be a sanitary/phytosanitary relaxation of prohibitions that have inhibited all of our exports there.”

The Chinese also have a ban on hormones in beef, but Perdue said that’s going to change, too.

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“They are going to accept hormone levels that are accepted by CODEX - just like other countries in the world. This is a big success for agriculture,” Perdue said.

On biotech, where other structural changes are expected, Perdue did not go into detail. However, he said they are agreeing to a timeline of regulatory approval which is different than they have ever had before.

Perdue also said that he is not expecting another round of Market Facilitation Program payments, “but obviously, we’ve got a third tranche of 2019 payments expecting to go out.”

Farmers like trade, not aid, he said.

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