NCC Statement on USDA Proposed Rule to Allow Importation of Cooked Chicken from China

June 15, 2017

Attributable to National Chicken Council President Mike Brown: 

“NCC and our members support free and fair trade.  In order to be effective, free trade must operate as a two-way street.  Any country that is able to meet the stringent food safety standards set by USDA should be able to compete in a marketplace free of protectionism and artificial trade barriers.

“I am optimistic that as our negotiators continue the dialogue with China, U.S. broiler access issues to China will be resolved expeditiously.”

U.S. chicken has been blocked by China since January 2015, when the country issued a blanket ban on all U.S. poultry over issues related to avian influenza.  Poultry exports to China peaked in 2008, with an export value of $722 million.

“The United States is the most efficient producer of poultry products in the world. Our comparative advantage in producing and marketing these products derives from both our access to America’s abundant production of high quality feed grain and soybean products which are used to feed our flocks; and from America’s technological leadership in poultry genetics and breeding, precision feed formulation, and animal health practices. Because of our significant comparative advantage, it is difficult for other countries to compete both here and abroad and as such, the U.S. imports very little poultry products.

“According the rule, ‘The immediate impact on the United States consumers and domestic producers is likely to be minor, as the low volume of trade is likely to have little effect on supply, demand and prices.’

“FSIS still must take a number of steps, the first of which will be the publishing of the proposed rule in the Federal Register along with a comment period, before it can make a final determination as to whether China is equivalent and thus eligible to export poultry to the United States that was slaughtered and cooked in Chinese establishments.  NCC looks forward to reviewing the details of the rule and providing comments to the agency during the 60-day public comment period.”   

For Frequently Asked Questions on USDA’s Equivalence of China’s Poultry Processing and Slaughter Inspection Systems, please click here.

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