WASHINGTON — China continues to make progress implementing its obligations under the US-China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said.

Perdue’s statement followed news reports that cast doubt over China’s ability to fulfill its commitments under the agreement due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which has been traced to China’s Hubei Province and linked to wet markets in Wuhan. As of March 10, China reported 80,924 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 3,140 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. But Perdue said China has taken several additional actions to meet its commitments, including:

  • Signing a protocol allowing imports of fresh California nectarines;
  • Conditionally lifting a ban on imports of beef and beef products from animals over 30 months of age; and
  • Updating lists of facilities approved for dairy, infant formula, seafood, fish oil and fish meal exports.

In addition, importers can now apply for exclusions from retaliatory tariffs because China’s new tariff exclusion process went into effect on March 2.

“These implementation measures are promising steps showing that China is taking steps to fulfill their purchase commitments,” Perdue said. “Under President Trump’s leadership, this agreement will produce positive gains for the entire economy, especially our agriculture sector. We look forward to China continuing to achieve their commitments in future months.”