China removes threat of total ban on U.S. poultry if bird flu is found: industry group


Tom Polansek, Reuters  

March 20, 2020


CHICAGO (Reuters) - China has promised it will not impose a nationwide ban on imports of U.S. poultry if the United States finds cases of avian flu, an industry group said, a policy change that could help Beijing fulfill commitments to buy more American farm goods.


The agreement follows a Phase 1 deal to end a prolonged trade war between the world’s two largest economies and highlights China’s need for more imported meat as it battles a fatal pig disease.


Beijing banned imports of U.S. poultry and eggs in January 2015 because of a U.S. outbreak of highly pathogenic, or virulent, avian flu, closing a market worth $500 million in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


China lifted the ban in November 2019 as the countries sought to finalize the deal to ease their trade war, benefiting U.S. chicken companies like Tyson Foods (TSN.N) and Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC.O).


“We’ve been waiting for this,” said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, a trade group...