President Donald Trump collected a win in the ongoing trade war with China on Thursday as the communist nation announced that it was lifting a five-year ban on U.S. poultry effective immediately.
“The decision out of Beijing is effective immediately and the announcement sent shares of major U.S. chicken processers, Sanderson Farms, Tyson Foods and Pilgrim’s Pride to new highs for the year Thursday,” The Associated Press reported. “The Chinese market looks especially promising for U.S. poultry producers because an outbreak of African swine fever has devastated a competing protein in China: pork.”
The move comes after the U.S. and China made a partial trade deal in October in which China committed to purchasing $40-50 billion of American agricultural products every year which is a massive increase as “American farm exports to China peaked at around $25.5 billion in 2016,” The New York Times reported last month. “From China’s perspective, the biggest win is a promise by Mr. Trump to cancel an Oct. 15 tariff increase, when taxes on $250 billion of Chinese goods were set to rise to 30 percent from 25 percent.”
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) said in a statement:
China has banned all U.S. poultry since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak in December 2014, even though the United States has been free of this disease since August 2017. The United States exported over $500 million worth of poultry products to China in 2013.
The United States is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global exports of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.
“The United States welcomes China’s decision to finally lift its unwarranted ban on U.S. poultry and poultry products. This is great news for both America’s farmers and China’s consumers,” said United States Trade Representative Robert 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 U.S. poultry will create new export opportunities for our poultry farmers and support thousands of workers employed by the U.S. poultry industry.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue added, “After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. 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 U.S. jobs.”
Jeff Moon, a former U.S. diplomat and trade official specializing in China, told the Associated Press, “Today’s development (on U.S. poultry) is definitely linked to the trade war and, though the progress is incremental, it is positive and resolves a longstanding irritant in the trade relationship. I speculate that the White House might be making this announcement to counter recent press reports that trade war negotiations are faltering.’’