The United States will try to convince China to drop a ban on U.S. poultry imports as part of trade talks that will occur this week.
Ted McKinney, U.S. under secretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, is to be in Beijing for the trade mission. According to a report from Reuters, McKinney will be pushing China to open up the market for imports of chicken products from the United States. Better access for genetically modified crops is also reported to be a topic of discussion this week.
China, despite recently removing anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties on U.S. broilers, continues to have its borders closed to poultry products imported from the United States, but it does import about $1 billion worth of poultry annually from other counties. China also accounts for most of the world trade in chicken feet.
China’s ban on chicken products from the United States has been in place since 2015. The trade restriction was put in place in response to the avian influenza outbreak, which was responsible for the loss of 48 million birds. However, outbreaks in 2016 and 2017 were much less widespread and were rapidly brought under control. There have only been two confirmed cases of avian influenza in United States poultry flocks in 2018.
The most recent case of avian influenza in the U.S. was detected in a broiler breeder flock of just over 24,000 chickens in Hopkins County, Texas. The virus found in that flock was of the low pathogenic H7N1 variant. That case was confirmed on March 9.
Prior to that, the only other case of avian influenza to be confirmed in the United States was in a commercial turkey flock in Jasper County, Missouri. That case, which involved about 20,000 turkeys, was confirmed three days before the Texas case was confirmed. It was also a case of low pathogenic H7N1 avian influenza.