Trumps meat deal for America
Here are highlights of what’s been disclosed by the U.S. administration for the U.S. meat industry:
JD.com (Jingdong) agreed to buy $1.2 billion of beef from the Montana Stock Growers Association ( we already reported yesterday -->) and pork from Smithfield Foods Inc. over the next three years, as part of a deal by the Chinese online retailer to import $2 billion of U.S. goods over that period.
The beef portion, about $200 million, would signal a big increase in the appetite for red meat among Chinese consumers, as shipments remain low due to the limited supply that meets requirements. According to China’s Customs General Administration, the country imported 2.3 billion yuan of beef last year.
The pork deal may not be much help creating jobs at Smithfield’s U.S. factories: The company can’t sell made-in-America sausage, ham and bacon to Chinese consumers because China prohibits imports of processed meat, CEO Kenneth Sullivan said in an interview in March. Smithfield parent WH Group opened an 800 million-yuan factory in central China in 2015 to produce American-style packaged meat products.