Arkansas Poultry Production Gets A Huge Boost

November 15, 2019
Weekly Columns

At any given time this week, impeachment proceedings completely dominated national news headlines. Yet while networks focused on the partisan process, a huge win for poultry producers across America slipped quietly under the radar. On November 14, China lifted its ban on poultry imports from the United States, thereby reopening a huge market for poultry production.

As a leading state in poultry production, Arkansas farmers and corporations stand to gain the most from this announcement. China initially instituted the ban on U.S. poultry in January 2015 because of an avian influenza outbreak, but U.S. has now been free of this disease since 2017. With the Chinese market reopened, the USDA estimates that U.S. producers could benefit from more than $1 billion in exports annually.

“After being shut out of the market for years, U.S. poultry producers and exporters welcome the reopening of China’s market to their products,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said. “America’s producers are the most productive in the world and it is critical they be able to sell their bounty to consumers in other parts of the globe. We will continue our work to expand market access in important markets like China as well as other countries, to support our producers and U.S. jobs.”

I spoke to President Trump just last week about how the revenue from poultry products could increase if trade bans were lifted, and he told me that he would take care of American farmers. I’m so glad to see the president’s promise come to fruition. From hatcheries to processing plants, every stage of poultry production is important to American agriculture. We must continue working toward fair trade deals – like USMCA – that benefit hardworking Arkansans.