Just eight months ago, U.S. chicken farmers were celebrating the reopening of the Chinese market. Now they’re cheering the dizzying pace of sales that have pushed China to the number-one position in April and May in foreign markets, and the trade shows no sign of slowing down.
Farm groups and their Senate allies are making their final pitches to Capitol Hill for billions in additional aid as lawmakers look to pass what is expected to be the last major coronavirus relief package this year.
China has banned chicken from a Tyson Foods plant in Springdale, Arkansas, just as U.S. exports of poultry to Chinese buyers are spiking, according to sources, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity.
China will fully comply with its promises to buy U.S. ag commodities and the U.K. will be held to demands that it lift barriers on American farm products, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told lawmakers Wednesday.
The American Farm Bureau Federation sent the Senate a wish list for the next coronavirus relief bill that includes a significant new round of aid to farmers as well as assistance for rural broadband and health care providers.
Farm earnings are likely to fall sharply this year despite the $16 billion in COVID-19 assistance payments now being distributed, and farmers’ income is likely to drop again in 2021 without additional government aid, according to a widely followed forecast of the agricultural economy.
Contract chicken growers are struggling to cover their costs because of outbreaks that have forced poultry processors in many areas to slow operations and reduce the number of birds their farmers will produce.
U.S. farm groups are looking for big wins as U.S. negotiators push the U.K. to abandon European barriers to agricultural trade in the countries' first round of trade talks, according to industry officials aware of the proceedings.