A woman pushes her shopping cart past a display of domestically produced Chinese beef at a supermarket in Beijing, Friday, May 12, 2017. China will finally open its borders to U.S. beef while cooked Chinese poultry is closer to hitting the American market as part of a U.S.-China trade agreement. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Trade deal feeds China taste for beef, won't close deficit

May 12, 2017 - 3:27 am

BEIJING (AP) — A new trade deal with the U.S. could help feed China's growing appetite for beef and increase natural gas imports but will likely make only a negligible dent in the U.S. trade deficit.

The agreement announced on Friday Beijing time is a step toward easing trade friction between the world's two largest economies. Tensions have been stoked by President Donald Trump's complaints over the trade imbalance and Chinese market barriers.

The deal lifts a 2003 ban on imported American beef and in turn allows China to send cooked poultry to the U.S.

Peking University professor Yu Miaojie in Beijing says that's good news for Chinese consumers who have a growing taste for beef as the country becomes more affluent. Homegrown cattle herds have not kept pace with surging demand.

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