U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack attended a United States and China Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade to raise the issue of China’s ongoing ban on imports of US poultry. The ban was enacted in response to the outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza. The meeting ran from November 21 to 23.
Since no new cases of HPAI have been detected since June 17, Vilsack hoped for China to lower the restrictions on the importation of poultry. Rather than a nationwide ban, Vilsack hoped for restrictions to only be maintained from states or regions where actual infection had occurred. Vilsack commented on the proposal, saying that “International rules suggest a regional approach would be appropriate.”
Before the Joint Commission took place, Vilsack stated that he did not expect the ban to be lifted during the course of the Commission. At the time of this writing, the Commission meeting has concluded, but no information has been released regarding the status of China’s import ban.