Rep. Barry Moore (R-AL), a member of the Congressional Chicken Caucus, this week joined Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) and 41 colleagues in a letter urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to engage with their Chinese counterparts to restore market access for poultry products to the Chinese market following U.S. outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).

“On March 23, 2020, [USDA’s] Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the General Administration of Customs China (GACC) adopted a policy of regionalization in the event of an [HPAI] outbreak,” the letter outlines. “This agreement allows states unaffected by HPAI to remain eligible for international trade during an outbreak while outlining conditions affected states must meet to regain eligibility to export products.” The letter noted that approval to export must be made 90 days after virus elimination, disinfection, and cleaning had taken place.

“Throughout the early stages of the recent HPAI outbreak…, GACC followed these conditions to resume trade. Restrictions for the states of Kentucky and Texas were lifted in July following outbreaks in February and April. In these instances, GACC lifted restrictions on trade exactly 90 days post-virus elimination, in accordance with the agreement. However, in early August GACC reversed its position and reinstated bans for those states.”

Since that time, GACC has not responded to further requests from APHIS to lift restrictions for the states listed above, nor has GACC responded to similar requests from Oklahoma, Delaware, North Carolina, New Jersey, Arkansas, Maine, and Maryland.

“We respectfully request that you engage with your Chinese counterparts and encourage them to quickly honor the regionalization agreement both countries signed in 2020, including immediately restoring market access to those states meeting all conditions set out in the agreement,” the letter concluded.

Reps. Moore and Spanberger were joined by Reps. GT Thompson (R-PA), David Scott (D-GA), Trent Kelly (R-MS), Don Davis (D-NC), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), David Rouzer (R-NC), Mark Alford (R-MO), Austin Scott (R-GA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Robert Aderholt (R-AL), Wiley Nickel (D-NC), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Rob Wittman (R-VA), Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), Angie Craig (D-MN), Kathy Manning (D-NC), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Jim Costa (D-CA), Mike Ezell (R-MS), Mike Lawler (R-NY), Brad Finstad (R-MN), Greg Murphy (R-NC), Ben Cline (R-VA), Dan Bishop (R-NC), Frank Lucas (R-OK), Zach Nunn (R-IA), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Jim Baird (R-IN), Sanford Bishop (D-GA), Dale Strong (R-AL), Andy Harris (R-MD), John Duarte (R-CA), Jen Kiggans (R-VA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Michael Guest (R-MS), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Greg Pence (R-IN), and Dusty Johnson (R-SD).

The full letter can be found here.