China has lifted its ban on U.S. poultry imports, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“This announcement is finally a step in the right direction, especially for the more than 1200 poultry operations in my district,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin C. Peterson of Minnesota. “It’s something that I’ve pressed the administration over and over on, including in my most recent conversation with Ambassador Doud at USTR. I hope the administration can also make progress on the other trade access issues within the Chinese market, end these damaging tariffs, and help our farmers expand and develop new export markets.”
China has banned all U.S. poultry since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014, even though the United States has been free of this disease since August 2017. The United States exported over $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013. As the ban is lifted, USDA projects chicken exports to China will grow by 68%, amounting to $1 billion annually.
"As the farm economy continues to struggle, it's important to get these incremental successes to show our producers that there's light at the end of the tunnel,” said Jim Costa of California, chariman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture. “Now I hope USDA can build on this development to increase access for U.S. farm and food products in China, but none of that can really take hold if the Administration isn't willing to reconsider its tariff strategy."
“The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers,” Lighthizer said. “China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”
“After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products," Perdue said.
“I thank Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Perdue for keeping the pressure on China and continuing efforts to establish and grow markets for U.S. agricultural products around the world," said Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
The United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.