China is to impose import tariffs on US poultry of up to 105.4%, according to the country's Ministry of Commerce.
It said the tariffs reflected the result of its own antidumping investigation, which looked at whether the United States was harming China’s poultry industry by exporting chicken parts for less than it cost to produce them.
Chinese officials have denied that the inquiry was in retaliation for the US imposing tarrifs on Chinese tires, but poultry is one of the few categories in which the US runs a trade surplus with China, making it an ideal target for Chinese trade actions.
Carol J. Guthrie, a spokeswoman for the United States trade representative, said, “We are disappointed that duties are to be imposed and will be examining the determination for consistency with applicable rules.”
China is an important market for American poultry, particularly for portions like chicken feet, which are a delicacy in China but barely marketable in the United States, said Gary Blumenthal, the chief executive of World Perspectives, an agriculture trade consulting firm in Washington.
As China’s affluence has increased there has been a rising demand for protein. “China is viewed as a potentially hugely growing market for poultry,” Blumenthal said.
The United States exports about $4 billion a year of chicken products, of which $678.2 million went to China last year, according to Global Trade Information Services.