China turns up the heat in chicken trade battle with US

By Sarah Arnott
Sunday 23 October 2011 08:41

China launched a formal inquiry into imports of chicken feet and wings from America yesterday as the trade spat over tariffs on Chinese goods intensified. The row began earlier this month when President Barack Obama signed off plans to boost import duties by 35 per cent.

The Beijing government called the move against its $1.8bn (£1.1bn) tyre exports "protectionist" and rounded on US exports of both car parts and chicken meat in return.

There is a massive trade in chicken between the two countries. In the first six months of this year the US provided 90 per cent of the 400,000-plus tonnes of chicken China imported – about half of the output of China's domestic poultry industry. Feet and wings sell for only about 2 cents per pound in the US but 40 cents per pound in China. The anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation announced yesterday is just the latest in a series of disputes over chicken parts. Last week, the US Department of Agriculture finally agreed to lift a ban on imports of Chinese cooked poultry, much to the annoyance of American farmers.

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