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U.S. poultry farmers regain access to China

By Julie Tomascik

U.S. poultry is flocking back to China after the country announced it is lifting its ban on American poultry imports.

“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,” U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said.

China had blocked American poultry imports for nearly five years after an outbreak of avian influenza in December 2014, closing off a market that purchased more than $500 million worth of American poultry products in 2013. The ban remained in place despite American poultry being declared disease-free in August 2017.

“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,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.

The decision was effective immediately when announced in mid-November.

The United State is the world’s second-largest poultry exporter, shipping more than $4.3 billion of poultry meat and products last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“America’s producers are the most productive in the world and it is critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the globe,” Perdue said. “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.”

The decision paves the way for the export of more than $1 of poultry products to China each year.

“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,” Lighthizer said. “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.”

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