March 23, 2020


China removes clause that bans US poultry if avian influenza is discovered


Jim Sumner, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council president said China's policy change will mean China will purchase more US agriculture goods as part of its US-China Phase 1 trade deal pledge, reported Reuters.


China banned poultry and eggs from the United States because of an avian influenza outbreak in 2015. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated the market to be worth US$500 million in 2013.


The ban was lifted in November 2015, which benefited US poultry companies such as Pilgrim's Pride and Tyson Foods.


Sumner said by removing the avian influenza clause, there will not be repeat of the 2015 ban.


The USDA provided no comments on this issue.


In the US-China Phase 1 trade deal signed in January this year, China pledged to purchase an additional US$12.5 billion worth of US agriculture goodsthis year, with an additional $19.5 billion minimum in 2021 over theUS$24 billion in purchases done in 2017.


Li Qiang, Shanghai based-JCI chief analyst said removing the avian influenza clause shows China's positive stance towards imports. JCI is China's leading agriculture consultancy.


Li said the move by China shows the country will purchase more US agriculture goods, provided that the US guarantees avian influenza prevention.


China also exempted US poultry from retaliatory tariffs.


According to the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, China will not ban the entire US if avian influenza is found but will stop imports from the state where the virus was discovered. Import suspensions will be lifted if no new cases have been reported three months after the last case was cleared.


The council said no trade restrictions have been imposed on low pathogenic avian influenza.


The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) reported low-pathogenic avianinfluenza cases in turkeys at North Carolina.


-      Reuters