May 12, 2017 (LINCOLN, NEB.)— Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that American and Chinese officials had struck a deal that will allow American beef into China for the first time since 2003.

“We welcome China’s announcement to allow U.S. beef into the Chinese marketplace again,” said Governor Ricketts. “As Governor, I along with my team at the Nebraska Department of Agriculture have worked to forge relationships with the Chinese government and business community to help grow Nebraska in the Chinese marketplace.”

In 2016, the Governor led a trade mission to China to share the story of Nebraska beef with potential customers in anticipation of the market re-opening.

In 2015, the Governor visited Beijing to urge the Chinese government to reopen the Chinese market to American beef.

“We have been anticipating this announcement and have already been working to build key partnerships in China for Nebraska beef,” said Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach. “We will be reaching out to our state’s beef community to ensure that we continue to position Nebraska to play a key role in the Chinese market.”

According to the Governor’s Office, NDA’s International Trade Officer Stan Garbacz will be in China next week to ensure that the state maximizes the potential opportunity for the Nebraska beef community.

The Chinese market has been closed since 2003. At the time of closure Chinese beef imports were $64 million, which has since grown to $2.5 billion in 2016.

As the nation’s leader in commercial red meat production and the number one exporter of US beef, Nebraska agriculture stands to benefit greatly from the opening of this marketplace.

Media Contact Kate Ellingson at 1-800-426-6505, 1-402-471-3749 or email