The USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) welcomes an announcement by the Trump Administration of substantive progress in the trade dialogue with China, and that poultry plays an integral part in that progress.

One of the largest markets for U.S. chicken, China in January 2015 imposed a ban on U.S. poultry and eggs after highly pathogenic avian influenza was detected in a single wild bird in the western U.S. At their peak in 2008, the U.S. chicken shipments to China were valued at more than $700 million.

At the heart of the issue is China’s desire to ship cooked Chinese-origin poultry to the U.S. Contrary to popular perception, the U.S. poultry industry supports this initiative to approve imports of cooked Chinese chicken to this country, realizing it is of critical importance for exports of U.S. poultry – or even beef – to China to be restored.

“As we have learned over the years, trade must be a two-way street, and it’s important to treat other countries the way we would like to be treated,” said USAPEEC President Jim Sumner. “As long as a country can meet the stringent food safety requirements for poultry established by USDA, it should be given the opportunity to have access to our market.”

Another primary issue is for China to adopt a policy of regionalization for diseases such as avian influenza so poultry trade can resume. Reports indicate that considerable progress is being made in this area to ensure access soon.

As one of the world’s lowest-cost producers of chicken, the impact of imports of cooked Chinese chicken would likely be minimal, since only a few Chinese processing plants can meet USDA standards. Also, any imports of Chinese chicken would be subject to inspection at the border by the Food Safety and Inspection Service to ensure compliance.