March 19, 2018
US inks deal with So. Korea to 'regionalise' poultry ban during HPAI outbreak
South Korea has agreed to allow trade restrictions only at the state level instead of country level in the event of a highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) detection in the US.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said the agreement, signed by both countries, would prevent a repeat of trade actions taken in 2015 when all US poultry, poultry products and eggs were banned as a result of a detection of HPAI.
Under the new agreement, if there is an HPAI detection in the US, unaffected states would continue to trade with South Korea.
"Limiting trade restrictions during future HPAI detections to only those states with positive detections will help keep trade flowing.
"The new science-based agreement will allow unaffected US producers to keep poultry, poultry products and eggs going to South Korea", said Greg Ibach, USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programmes.
Ted McKinney, USDA undersecretary for trade and foreign agricultural affairs, said, "This success with South Korea, a top-ten market already for poultry products, means we will continue to grow exports to a critical market".
South Korea bought $122 million worth of US poultry and products including eggs in 2014, the last full year without any HPAI-related trade restrictions in place. This trade value made the East Asian country the US' 10th-largest market for poultry.
Last year, South Korea's poultry import value from the US was down to just $46 million. It was only in August 2017 that South Korea lifted its most recent HPAI-related ban on imports of US poultry, poultry products and fresh eggs, which was imposed in March 2017.