US Senate urged to allow trade with China

09-06-2006 | |

A recent amendment to the 2006 Agriculture Bill in the US House of Representatives effectively negated the USDA-Food Safety and Inspections Service initiative to allow importation of further-processed broiler products, sourced from US poultry, to be imported from approved plants in China.

The apparent justification was fear of introducing avian influenza. A consortium of US industry associations including the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, American Meat Institute and the National Pork Producers Council have urged a group of influential Senators including Chairpersons of the Agriculture Subcommittee and Appropriations Committee to fund the program for FSIS inspection of plants and re-inspection of imported product.

The action by the House is regarded as arbitrary and an illegal application of WTO phytosanitary rules. The primary motivation for the action is fear of a negative response by the government of China in the form of embargos restricting importation of raw and processed broiler parts, turkey, beef and pork.