While negotiators are working out arrangements in which the U.S. would accept cooked chicken products from China, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said he does not expect a large amount of Chinese poultry to be imported.

In a USDA Radio News report, Perdue explained why he thinks imports of Chinese cooked chicken products will be limited.

“Our ecosystem of poultry production is the best in the world. We can compete anywhere in the world with value-added poultry products,” said Perdue.


Prior to becoming the agriculture secretary, Perdue, who is also a veterinarian, served as the governor of Georgia, the leading poultry-producing U.S. state.

While the acceptance of cooked chicken from China may not have a huge impact on the U.S. poultry industry, Perdue indicated that it would be good for international relations and people from China can have confidence in saying “Chinese chicken is acceptable and safe.”

Perdue’s statements come on the heels of a U.S. government announcement of a preliminary trade agreement. Under the preliminary agreement, U.S. beef could be exported to China for the first time in 14 years, which could pave the way for China to reopen its market to U.S. poultry, which had been closed since January 2015.