U.S.-China chicken trade rule has critics

May 20, 2006 at 8:22 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 20 (UPI) -- A new U.S. Agriculture Department rule to allow China to import, process and export back U.S. chicken has experts confused and Congress upset.

The deal loosens previous rules against importing chicken from China. It will allow U.S. producers, the world's largest group, to send their chicken to China to be processed, canned and then shipped back to be sold, CNN reports.

Most of the $50 billion worth of chicken U.S. consumers purchased in 2005 was raised in the United States.

Industry and government experts say the deal doesn't sound very lucrative.

Economist Paul Aho said "this deal doesn't even matter" to the United States, but it is viewed as a boon to China's attempt to loosen regulations.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., is concerned any chicken product sent from China is a risk for bringing the feared bird flu to U.S. shores.

She sponsored an amendment to the 2007 agricultural bill blocking the provision.

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