JACKSON, Miss.- After a 13 year ban on beef China has lifted their sanctions and will now begin purchases from the U.S. for the meat.
The ban started after reports of Mad Cow disease.
The decision comes coincidentally after Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith took a trip to China with other represented commissioners to discuss trade options with Chinese officials.
“We did a lot of research before we left, we met with several people from the trade organization,” said Hyde-Smith. “It was truly a trade mission to try to get them to buy our products, to get them to increase some sales of some products.”
Hyde-Smith said she was warned before the meetings to refrain from the “beef/poultry” conversation because of other negotiations already going on. Others with her said that often times in these negotiations when the other party can tell you want something badly, they’ll corner you into buying more of one of their goods.
However, when the time came to speak up, Hyde-Smith said she did just that.
“I came almost 10,000 miles, you bet I’m about the promote U.S. beef and U.S. poultry.”
She said her sole purpose for the visit was to explain to the Chinese that they should be purchasing U.S. beef and poultry.
Not long after that meeting word began to spread that the Chinese was dropping the ban on beef. Hyde-Smith said she could hardly believe it, but it was finally confirmed by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack of the USDA.
“To say we are pretty excited, we are very excited,” said Hyde-Smith.