The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an agreement with the government of South Korea that significantly reduces negative impacts on trade should another detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) occur in the United States. The agreement will allow for trade restrictions at the state level instead of the country level during any future HPAI detections.
This action bolsters the already strong trade relationship between the United States and South Korea and will prevent a repeat of trade actions taken in 2015 when all U.S. poultry, poultry products and eggs were banned as a result of a detection of HPAI.
“Limiting trade restrictions during future HPAI detections to only those states with positive detections will help keep trade flowing,” said Greg Ibach, USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs. “The new science-based agreement will allow unaffected U.S. producers to keep poultry, poultry products and eggs going to South Korea. This helps us meet Secretary Perdue’s vision of doing right and feeding the world.”
“Trade is critical for the health of American agriculture, and to support vibrant rural economies. Keeping markets open to exports of U.S. poultry is an important part of that story,” said USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Ted McKinney. “This success with South Korea, a top ten market already for poultry products, means we will continue to grow exports to a critical market.”
USDA plays a vital role in ensuring the free flow of agricultural trade by certifying that the millions of U.S. agricultural and food products shipped to markets abroad meet the importing countries' entry requirements. USDA also keeps export markets open for American agricultural products by addressing concerns about plant and animal health raised by U.S. trading partners. Under the new agreement, if there is an HPAI detection in the United States, unaffected states would continue to trade with South Korea.
In 2014, the last full year without any HPAI-related trade restrictions in place, South Korea purchased $122 million in U.S. poultry and products, including eggs, making it the United States’ tenth-largest market. South Korea’s imports from all sources were nearly $426 million in 2017, but only $46 million came from the United States. In August 2017, South Korea lifted its most recent HPAI-related ban on imports of U.S. poultry, poultry products and fresh eggs, imposed in response to an HPAI outbreak in March 2017.