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Iowa Turkey director welcomes end to China poultry ban

The director of the Iowa Turkey Federation calls the end of China’s ban on U.S. poultry long overdue.

Gretta Irwin tells Brownfield the avian influenza outbreak four years ago took a huge market off the table.

“Because of that detection, China put a ban on any turkey products entering their country, so we’re not only talking about the meat products. Feathers were also impacted by this. So it had multiple impacts to our turkey industry.”

She says since 2015 the U.S. poultry sector has worked hard to regain access to China, which had been the number two export market for turkey.

“At its peak, the annual value for turkey exports from the U.S. to China was around $71 million. So the impact of that is huge for our industry.”

Irwin is awaiting more specifics on when China will start to import poultry products now that the ban is lifted, and she says there could be some tariffs involved.

Irwin would also like to see USMCA ratified soon because Mexico is the top importer of U.S. turkey products.

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