The International Trade Council welcomes China's agreement to immediately resume imports of Brazilian beef, which were halted voluntarily by Brazilian authorities on February 23, following the discovery of an atypical case of mad cow disease. This decision comes days ahead of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's visit to China to expand trade relations and secure greater Chinese investments.
The resumption of trade on Thursday follows a meeting between Brazilian Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro and Chinese customs chief Yu Jianhua, who made the decision to lift the ban. Last year, China spent $8bn on Brazilian beef, accounting for almost nine percent of its imports from Latin America’s largest economy.
This visit comes after a period of rocky relations under former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who used anti-China rhetoric during his campaign and blamed China for the COVID-19 pandemic in his first years in office. President Lula seeks to draw Brazil closer to China and will travel with a large delegation, including half a dozen cabinet ministers, governors, lawmakers, and 240 business leaders, over a third from Brazil’s farm sector, which sends the lion’s share of its beef, soybeans, and wood pulp to China.
As Brazil's largest export market, China is already the largest recipient of Chinese investment in Latin America. Bilateral trade between Brazil and China surpassed $150bn in 2022, with Brazil exporting mainly soybean products, iron and its derivatives, oil products, and beef to China. President Lula hopes to further expand trade relations and seek new Chinese investments during his trip, which comes less than two months after his meeting with US President Joe Biden at the White House.
The International Trade Council believes that lifting the ban on Brazilian beef imports by China is a positive step towards enhancing trade ties and cooperation between the two countries. We remain committed to promoting fair trade practices and working towards creating an enabling environment for global trade.