China, continuing to live up to promises made in the “phase one” trade deal, is working with the U.S. to finalize certification for hundreds of U.S. beef processing plants as well as approve a wide variety of beef cuts and beef products in preparation for a resumption in trade.

The certifications are not yet complete, but will be very soon — perhaps in just one or two days — if the process continues to go smoothly, sources told Agri-Pulse on condition of anonymity because nothing has been finalized.

American Farm Bureau Federation Chief Economist John Newton said Wednesday 500 U.S. beef plants are to be approved.

China is also going through its process to approve all of the beef product produced at the plants eligible for certification, according to U.S. sources and documents published by China’s General Administration of Customs.

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“What we’ve seen on behalf of the Chinese is that they’ve taken meaningful steps to address some of the non-tariff barriers to trade,” Newton said Wednesday.

In other efforts to comply with promises made under the “phase one” deal and improve the U.S. ability to export meat to China, the country has agreed to lift its zero-tolerance policy for growth hormone residues in beef as well as implement a regionalization policy for dealing with U.S. bird flu outbreaks, U.S. industry and government officials tell Agri-Pulse.

Furthermore, China’s General Administration of Customs also recently certified a list of 88 U.S. ethanol companies that are eligible to export dried distillers grains to China.

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