“We are pleased that the Russian Federation has agreed to lift its import ban on U.S. poultry. We expect that the conditions set forth in the protocol will readily be met and that trade will return to normal by April 10. A positive outcome to this situation is in the best interests of all concerned – especially the U.S. industry and Russian consumers.
“We appreciate very much the hard work of the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Alexander Vershbow, and his staff and other members of the U.S. government negotiating team, in the resolution of this matter. We are grateful for the high-level attention this matter received, including the personal involvement of President Bush and the involvement of several members of his Cabinet, including Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman, Secretary of Commerce Donald L. Evans, and Special Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Also very important were the contributions of industry members who provided technical assistance to the government negotiating team. Everyone on the U.S. side worked together to resolve the issue in a timely manner.
“Russian consumers can continue to have the high level of confidence in the quality and wholesomeness of poultry imported from the United States that they have expressed for the last 10 years. We look forward to continuing the mutually beneficial trade with Russia.
“We understand that the U.S. and Russian governments will also hold talks on possible revisions to the 1996 protocol governing the trade. We look forward to lending assistance to the mutually satisfactory resolution of any outstanding issues.”
The National Chicken Council represents integrated chicken producer-processors, the companies that produce, process and market chickens. Member companies of NCC account for approximately 95 percent of the chicken sold in the United States.