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

CommoditiesMar 21, 2020 04:40PM ET
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By Tom Polansek

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 (N:TSN) and Pilgrim's Pride (O:PPC).

"We've been waiting for this," said Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, a trade group. "It gives everybody reassurance that we're not going to see a repeat of what happened in 2015."

The USDA did not respond to requests for comment about the new agreement over avian flu.

China, in the trade deal signed on Jan. 15, promised to buy at least an additional $12.5 billion worth of U.S. farm products in 2020 and at least $19.5 billion in 2021 over the 2017 level of $24 billion.

The agreement over avian flu reflect Beijing's "friendly attitude" toward imports, said Li Qiang, chief analyst with Shanghai-based JCI, a leading agriculture consultancy in China.

"It shows that under the initial Sino-U.S. trade deal, China is trying its best to increase imports of U.S. agriculture products, on the precondition of guaranteeing prevention of the disease," Li said.

Beijing also recently made U.S. poultry eligible for exemptions to retaliatory duties.

If avian flu is found in the United States, China will restrict imports from the state where the case is detected, rather than the whole country, according to the export council. The suspension may be lifted if there are no new cases for three months following the disposal of the last case, the group said.

There will be no trade restrictions for less-virulent cases of low pathogenic bird flu, according to the export council.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) this week confirmed outbreaks of low-pathogenic flu in turkeys in the U.S. state of North Carolina.

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

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Comments (2)
Ramm Batts
Ramm Batts Mar 21, 2020 6:08PM ET
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China has caused Trillions of damage who cares about eggs
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson Mar 21, 2020 5:49PM ET
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Good God nobody cares! The US needs to fully disengage from that regime. That’s all. Stop writing like there’s some positive connection there.
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David David
David9 Mar 21, 2020 5:49PM ET
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Even if US want to, we can't cause China is still the biggest market of the world. We have 300M consumers vs a 1.4B strong. We need China more than China need us, cause the world would need to trade with China. China is still on the path to transformed into a Great Power. You go ask Buffet, Munger, Gate, and Dalio and see what they say.
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson Mar 21, 2020 5:49PM ET
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David David WHO THE HE LL IS "WE"????? GO AWAY! China has no redeeming value to the free world. Their culture isn't even interesting. They copy literally EVERYTHING from western culture. Zero ingenuity. Just hate, envy and spite. JUST GO AWAY!
David David
David9 Mar 21, 2020 5:49PM ET
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China is not stupid. Do you think we get to use their cheap labor, mass market productivity for free? China let us into their labor market, and yes they need us to partner with their company. That way, they get to learn the western system's idea. They did not steal our intellectual know how. Our companies understand this fare and clear. Now China is on equal footing with us and we need to work with them. I listen to people like Dalio, Buffet and the people are smart and they know China will be one of the great power. We need to work and trade with China so all can prosper together.
David David
David9 Mar 21, 2020 5:49PM ET
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China did not copy us. Our companies go there knowing full well that in order to get their cheap labor and mass infrastructure for production, that we need to teach them how to make things. Now China is the Caiptal of Production for the world. We need to trade with China as much as China need to trade with us.
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson Mar 21, 2020 5:49PM ET
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David David Who the HE LL is "we"??? America was way better off before we made the mistake of assuming the Chinese were civilized. OUR BAD. Go back to eating your monkey brains and bat nuts.. It's time for the civilized world to wash their hands of these barbarians. Stop pretending to be an American. You're further embarrassing yourself. JUST GO AWAY!
 
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