The ban was implemented in January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014. The US has been free of this disease since August 2017. In 2013, poultry exports to China were worth $500m to the US market.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomed the lifting of the ban. “The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on US poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “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 US poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the US poultry industry.”
Secretary Perdue said: “After being shut out of the market for years, US poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products. 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. We will continue our work to expand market access in important markets like China as well as other countries, to support our producers and US jobs.”
The National Chicken Council (NCC), National Turkey Federation (NTF) and USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) also welcomed the decision. The groups believe renewed access to the Chinese market could result in $1bn annually for chicken paws alone and, due to China’s meat protein deficit as a result of African Swine Fever, there could be as much as another $1bn of potential exports of other chicken products, including leg and breast meat. Turkey exports could generate another $100m in sales and poultry breeding stock at least $60m more.
“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.”