U.S. poultry exporters meeting in Williamsburg, Va., June 13 heard U.S. Poultry & Egg Export Council President Jim Sumner express optimism about the possibilities for new trade openings with China in 2013 as bilateral relations between the two countries have improved.

Sumner also told members that a decision is expected soon in the antidumping case involving China and the United States at the World Trade Organization.

After spending $1.9 million in a legal defense against the dumping charges, some USAPEEC members expressed optimism about the case now before the WTO. Some members said they expect that an announcement of the WTO decision might come as early as in the next 30 days.

Sumner said a ruling in favor of the U.S. would send a message to other countries around the world that might contemplate similar actions. He said the U.S. remains prepared to defend its trade interests in poultry and eggs.

Adding to a positive tone between the countries was the U.S. decision by Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to share avian influenza virus samples from a past outbreak in Virginia with Chinese authorities. The Chinese had sought the samples for a number of years. China recently reopened its borders to poultry produced in Virginia.

Total value of U.S. poultry and egg exports in 2012 set a new record at $5.72 billion, up 12.2 percent from 2011, according to Sumner.

The percentage of U.S. broiler production exported in 2012 reached 21.4 percent. Meantime, the percentage of U.S. turkey production exported was 13.5 percent, and the percentage of U.S. egg production was 4.1 percent.