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China may block imports of US chicken

Reports state that China is expected to ban imports of US chicken in coming days. This would result in heightened trade tension between the 2 nations, as well as a blow to the US poultry industry, reports The Wall Street Journal.

US Poultry & Egg Export Council president James H. Sumner said he recently learned from "several importers" in China that the US wouldn't receive any import permits from the country's ministry of commerce beginning July. He went on to say that he has informed the US Embassy in Beijing and that it is looking into the matter. There has, however, been no official confirmation from the Chinese government.

Sumner says the potential ban appears to be tied to a provision in the most recent US spending bill that prohibits the USDA from allowing Chinese chicken plants to send poultry products to the US. Lawmakers question whether China's chicken processing plants meet US standards, reports state.

In recent months the U.S. has been under pressure from lawmakers and trade groups to crack down on goods coming from China. Reports state that China has responded with allegations of US protectionism.

According to Sumner, US chicken exporters will lose about $370 mln over the next 6 months if China doesn't resume imports.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Natalie Berkhout

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