• As previously covered on this blog, as part of a deal to resume U.S. beef exports to China, the U.S. pledged that it would remove obstacles to importing cooked Chinese poultry meat. In support of this pledge, on June 16, 2017, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a proposed rule (82 FR 27625) amending its inspection regulations to list China as eligible to export poultry products derived from birds slaughtered in that country to the U.S. Notwithstanding USDA’s recent move to facilitate cooked Chinese chicken imports, China continues to ban U.S. poultry.
  • Yesterday, a bipartisan group of 37 U.S. senators led by Senator Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) called on Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to press for the swift reopening of the Chinese market to U.S. chicken and turkey exports. In a July 26, 2017 letter to Secretary Perdue, the Senators challenged the ban, instituted by China in 2015 after the detection of a wild duck with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). The ban, which contradicts World Health Organization for Animal Health standards, prevents U.S. poultry products from being exported to Chinese markets. The letter notes that China has begun an animal audit of the U.S. poultry industry and urges USDA “to remain diligent in seeking final Chinese approval for U.S. poultry’s first successful shipment as quickly as possible.”
  • The restoration of U.S. poultry access to China would represent a financial win for American poultry producers as the Chinese market for American poultry exports – at its peak – stood at $71 million for turkey and $722 million for chicken. We will continue to monitor developments on this issue as they unfold and report them to you here.