As U-S trade representative Michael Froman appeared before congressional committees this week to stress the need for the president to be granted Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), poultry producers were talking trade issues in Atlanta at the IPPE.
USA Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) President Jim Sumner says TPA is critical to getting major trade agreements with Asia and Europe approved. “Actually I think we got the cart before the house on this,” said Sumner. “We should have had TPA before we went out and started the negotiations with these countries so that they have the assurance that they can give us the best deal and Congress is going to accept it…We need to have these trade agreements and we need Congress to get on board.”
Sumner says big trade issue for the poultry industry right now is the banning of U-S poultry imports by China and two other countries due to the discovery of high pathogen avian influenza in wild birds on the West Coast and now in a California commercial turkey flock. “To think that you have to ban all poultry imports from the entire United States is really overreaction,” he said, especially since China is even banning imports of breeding stock from the U.S. “The United States supplies 95% of the primary breeding stock for China,” said Sumner. “How is China going to continue to grow and develop their industry without the necessary breeding stock.”
Sumner says a regionalized approach, such as banning imports from affected states or even counties, makes more sense and is what the World Organization for Animal Health recommends.
Listen to Jamie’s interview with Jim Sumner here: Interview with Jim Sumner, USAPEEC
Photos from the event can be found here:
2015 International Production and Processing Expo Photos