A group of bipartisan US Senators have expressed concern regarding trade restrictions on US chicken products by several countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks.
TPP is a proposed trade agreement currently under negotiation by Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.
In a letter, 11 senators urged US Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman and US Agriculture Secretary (USDA) Tom Vilsack to do everything possible to provide for open markets and fair trade of US chicken products.
“The TPP represents a significant opportunity to expand US. chicken exports and bring increased economic benefits to chickens growers and companies across the country… Your ongoing commitment to seek the highest possible standard agreement is appreciated,” the senators wrote.
“We are particularly concerned about Canada’s supply management program that severely limits US chicken exports to our northern neighbor,” the senators continued. “As you know, despite ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada has continued to impose restrictions on imports of US chicken products and the US has been unsuccessful in lifting those restrictions. We urge you to continue to work to address this long-standing, unjustified issue during the TPP negotiations and create true free trade for US poultry.
“Similarly, we are concerned about Australia and New Zealand’s use of non-scientific barriers related to poultry disease that prohibit trade of US chicken products to these countries. If Australia and New Zealand are to participate in the TPP, they should conform to World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standards.
“Finally, Japan’s administrative guidance sets an unofficial quota on US chicken products. Japan is a significant potential market for US chicken products and a truly open trade agreement would create substantial opportunity for growth.”