U.S. to resume Chinese chicken exports following approval for processing plants

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U.S. to resume Chinese chicken exports following approval for processing plants

The U.S. moved closer to resuming lucrativce chicken exports to China after more than a hundred American processing plants were given approval to ship to the Asian nation.

China authorized poultry imports from 172 facilities in the U.S. effective Friday, according to a notice on the nation’s customs website. Chicken giants Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. and Sanderson Farms Inc. were among the companies making the list, according to a document published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

American poultry exports to China are projected to top $1 billion a year, said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. At their peak, annual poultry exports to China were worth $722 million for chicken and $71 million for turkey, according to the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, USA Poultry and the Egg Export Council.

The move comes after China had lifted its ban on U.S. poultry shipments earlier this month as part of trade negotiations between the ongoing U.S.-China trade deal. Beijing had banned U.S. poultry imports in 2015 following an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza. The prohibition was kept even after nearly all other nationwide bans had been removed until recently.

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