China has agreed to lift a nearly five-year ban on imports of US poultry, a move the US believes will lead to more than $1 billion worth of sales to the country annually.
Beijing has banned all US poultry since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014. Despite the US being cleared from the outbreak in 2017, the ban has remained in place.
The US exported more than $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013.
China is currently grappling with a swine fever epidemic that has more than doubled the price of pork in the last 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,” said US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
“Reopening China to US poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the US poultry industry.”
According to industry group the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, renewed access to the Chinese market could result in $1 billion annually for chicken paws alone and, due to China’s meat protein deficit as a result of swine fever, there could be as much as another $1 billion of potential exports of other chicken products, including leg and breast meat.
Turkey exports could generate another $100 million in sales and poultry breeding stock at least $60 million more, the group suggests.
A joint statement by the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council 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.”
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