Beijing lifted a ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products on Wednesday that has been in place since January 2015.
The decision paves the way for the export of more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products to China each year, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said in a statement.
He said this is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers. It “will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry,” he added.
“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. America’s producers are the most productive in the world and it is critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the globe. We will continue our work to expand market access in important markets like China as well as other countries, to support our producers and U.S. jobs,” said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, in a prepared statement.
China banned U.S. poultry following a December 2014 avian flu outbreak. Despite being declared disease-free in August 2017, the prohibition remained in place. The U.S. is the world’s second-largest poultry exporter, behind Brazil. Last year, the U.S. shipped more than $4.3 billion of poultry.
Why the change of heart?
As African swine fever (ASF) devastates the world’s largest pork producer, China is looking to fill its protein gap, a result of the decreased domestic pork supply.
How will this impact pork producers in the U.S.?
“I actually don’t think it will really have any direct impact on the pork industry since they will primarily be sending chicken paws (feet) and wing tips, which don’t directly compete with pork,” says Christine McCracken, Rabobank senior analyst-animal protein. “It is encouraging that the U.S. has been able to make progress on these negotiations, however, and gives me hope that we can come to a resolution on a broader deal.”
In October, a framework for a phase one trade deal had been reached between the U.S. and China, but nothing has been finalized. President Trump said a comprehensive trade pact would be made up of two or three phases. On Wednesday, reports circulated that Chinese negotiators were reluctant to commit to a set amount of U.S. agricultural purchases.
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