A new U.S. beef trade agreement with China announced by President Trump is being praised by Missouri’s Lieutenant Governor.

Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Parson (January photo courtesy of Tim Bommel at Missouri House Communications)

Lt. Governor Mike Parson (R) operates a cow and calf operation near southwest Missouri’s Bolivar. Parson notes the agreement allows beef producers in the United States to export their products to China, ending a 14-year ban on beef exports.

“With that new line that we’re going to be able to ship over there (China), the amount of beef that we’re going to be able to ship over there, but the jobs that that will create and hopefully to expand our production in this state,” Parson says.

Parson tells Missourinet he and state Department of Agriculture (MDA) Director Chris Chinn will meet with the Chinese delegation in Washington in the next 60 days, to discuss ag-related issues.

“And I think while we’re there, we’re going to try to meet with some other delegates from other nations and other countries that we’ll be able to talk to,” says Parson.

Chinn testified this year that Missouri ranks third in the nation in beef cows, with 1.9 million head. Chinn told lawmakers in January that agriculture is an $88 billion industry in Missouri, employing nearly 400,000 people statewide.

President Donald Trump (R) tweeted Wednesday afternoon that the U.S. beef trade agreement with China is “an exciting opportunity for agriculture.”

Parson says China has been importing $2.5 billion in international beef annually. Parson says this is a “big day” for Missouri agriculture.

“But I think sometimes you don’t want to forget that being a beef operator, being a cattleman like myself, what that does for our rowcroppers, because it takes a lot to feed those animals out there all the time,” Parson says.

Parson says the agreement will open doors for freight and shipping. He also predicts that American agricultural production must be doubled, to meet the demands in the next 40 years. He says science, technology and trade are crucial.

Parson was elected as Missouri’s 47th Lieutenant Governor in November, beating former Congressman Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis. Parson received the most votes of any Lt. Governor in Missouri history.


Click here to listen to Missourinet news director Brian Hauswirth’s full seven-minute interview with Lt. Governor Mike Parson, which was recorded on June 28, 2017 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City: