Photo by joeffrey
Last Friday, after an investigation by the Chinese Commerce Ministry concluded that U.S. companies were hurting local producers by dumping their poultry products into the Chinese market, China stated it would be slapping up to 105.4% in tariffs on imported U.S. poultry products. While this is sure to be yet another issue rocking the already unsteady boat of diplomatic relations between the two countries, we couldn’t help but snicker at the product in the middle of all this turmoil.
Because by “poultry products,” the ministry really means chicken feet a.k.a. a worthless byproduct in the US that happens to be a Chinese delicacy millions of locals love to snack upon.
Wang Xiulin, president of the Chinese Poultry Association told Reuters: “Chicken feet and wings are not wanted in the U.S. so they sell them to China, they dump them below cost. For over a decade, the U.S. has sent big volumes of chicken to the Chinese market, hurting producers here. Last year, the Chinese poultry industry was really hurting so we asked for this investigation.”
But the U.S.A. Poultry and Egg Export Council cried foul, as China’s initial investigation into its poultry market was sparked only after the U.S. imposed safeguard duties on Chinese-made tires back in September. Even then, the tire trade dispute left China threatening to cut-off its U.S. imported chicken supply, causing American poultry experts to come out of the woodwork with assurances that they had “jumbo, juicy paws” the Chinese just couldn’t get enough of.
Apparently, the appeal of jumbo juicy paws (shouldn’t it be claws?) weren’t as long lasting as they had hoped. As a spokesperson for the USAPEEC states, the new tariff decision threatens to “virtually eliminate U.S. chicken exports to China for the foreseeable future.”
Among the companies slapped with duties are, Pilgrim’s Pride Corp (hit with an 80.5 duty) Sanderson Farms (64.5 percent duty) and Tyson Foods (one of the lowest at a 43.1 percent duty).
This latest development in the Chinese-American trade-disputes is part of a
weirder larger saga involving tires, cars, steel and now, um, chickens. But as Beijing and Washington continue to quibble over Taiwan, Tibet, trade, climate change, internet freedom, protectionism, human rights and the value of yuan, they have some people convinced we’re headed to war. And that’s nothing to cluck at.