China lifted the restrictions on the import of poultry meat from the United States. The decision, which is effective immediately, comes from a ban that started in January 2015. Reopening the U.S. poultry market will help balance out the protein shortage due to China’s battle with African swine fever in pork, which has already slashed their herd size by nearly half.
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers,” Lighthizer said. “China is an important export market for America’s poultry farmers, and we estimate they will now be able to export more than $1 billion worth of poultry and poultry products each year to China. Reopening China to U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”
China has banned all U.S. poultry since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014, even though the United States has been free of this disease since August 2017. The United States exported over $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013. The United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.
The National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and USA Poultry and Egg Export Council applauded the announcement that China will lift its ban on imports of U.S. poultry products.
“Lifting the ban has been a top priority of the U.S. poultry industry for the past four years,” the groups said. “America’s poultry producers are committed to raising high-quality, nutritious products, and we are extremely pleased that we will once again have the opportunity to share these products with Chinese consumers. We look forward to resuming a trade partnership with China in the coming weeks.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said, “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. 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.”