A recent US act that blocks China's poultry exports to the US market smacks of "trade protectionism" and will affect 20 million Chinese farmers, according to the poultry industry.
The US House of Representatives earlier this month passed the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008. It stipulates that "none of the funds made available in this Act may be used to establish or implement a rule allowing poultry products to be imported into the United States from the People's Republic of China."
Without permits from certain rules, Chinese poultry products could have no access to the US market.
"The act not only undermines the joint efforts by the Chinese and US governments in the past three years to boost meat trade, but also reflects discrimination against the Chinese poultry industry," the poultry sub-chamber of the China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products told China Daily yesterday.
China is the largest meat producer in the world and the second largest poultry producer after the United States.
The Chinese poultry industry said it "strongly opposes" the act as it "violated basic rules of the World Trade Organization and is against the principles of fair trade".
The government has made great concessions in meat trade since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. It promised to remove tariffs on meat by 2010 and has completely opened its meat market to international players.
US poultry exports to China have increased remarkably since then.
From 2001 to July 2007, broiler exports to China totaled 2.71 million tons, accounting for some 78 percent of China's total imports.
However, the poultry sub-chamber said, the United States has not opened its market to Chinese poultry products even after a three-year investigation and evaluation.
(China Daily August 22, 2007)