The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) has announced a regionalization agreement with China for the safe trade of poultry products. Regionalization is an important tool that animal health officials can use to protect against disease spread. When disease strikes, unaffected regions are still eligible for international trade. Because the animals in the areas affected by diseases are kept separate and maintained under trade restrictions, there is a minimal risk of those animals spreading disease. APHIS used regionalization to ensure continued trade with other countries in many recent foreign animal disease outbreaks, including highly pathogenic avian influenza and virulent Newcastle disease.
The agreement with China allows the trade of poultry products to continue from unaffected regions of the country should the United States detect any future cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza or virulent Newcastle disease. In return, the U.S. agrees to implement regionalization for Chinese poultry products once China has officially recognized free zones in place. Both countries also agree not to impose trade restrictions on each other for findings of low pathogenic avian influenza.
This action is part of the continuing progress to implement the U.S.–China Phase One Economic and Trade Agreement. The agreement entered into force on Feb. 14, 2020, and this poultry regionalization action builds upon measures that were previously announced on February 25 and March 10.