Cheerleading a U.S.-China trade deal




A pro-trade organization is hopeful that a new agreement re-opens the door to China.



China is opening its borders to U.S. beef and cooked Chinese poultry is closer to hitting the American market as part of a U.S.-China trade deal.

Jim Sumner, president of the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council, says his organization has supported this deal for a number of years.

“We believe in free and open fair trade, and we think that if we’re going to be able to have access to other markets around the world,” he says, “we should at least give other countries the opportunity to try and meet our own standards here in the U.S., which are the highest in the world.”

In this trade deal with China, he says, the facilities inspected by the federal government have been inspected and comply with U.S. requirements.

“So we think that they’ll be able to supply safe products,” he predicts.

Meanwhile, Sumner says India and Indonesia are two more countries where his organization would like to see policy reforms.

“Even in the European Union,” he says, “we’re unable to export poultry because of a bunch of restrictive trade policies that they have put in place that really are not justifiable.”

There are many countries in Africa, including Nigeria and Egypt, that would be great markets for U.S. producers. But the market in China is the most important to the Export Council, he says.

“We exported as much as $750 million a year in chicken and a little bit of turkey to China, and it was a little over two years ago when we had our first avian influenza problems that China imposed a nationwide ban,” he recalls.

That ban is still in place today.

“So we have lost a tremendous market,” says Sumner. “So we’re hoping that these efforts which are being led by the Trump administration, and in particular Secretary Perdue, is a big step in the right direction.”

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