with U.S. officials did not appeal the World Trade Orgnization’s ruling against U.S. restrictions on the import of Chinese chicken.

Existing appropriations restrictions limited the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ability to consider an import rule for Chinese poultry products, which effectively kept the products out of the American marketplace.  China responded by pursuing action through the World Trade Organization, claiming that the U.S. was unfairly blocking poultry imports.  China also responded by imposing duties on U.S. chicken imports, escalating the trade dispute.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), chair of the House appropriations committee that oversees both USDA and FDA budgets, has long expressed concern about poultry products from China.

“From the very beginning I have insisted that the questions of processed Chinese poultry imports be taken as a public health issue that must not be entangled in trade discussions,” said DeLauro last year when the issue came up during appropriation discussions. 

Last year, lawmakers took a step toward resolving the dispute by clarifying budget language, but with the WTO ruling and no U.S. appeal, the dispute is formally over.

Under current U.S. law, poultry and poultry products may not be imported from any foreign country unless USDA determines that the food safety standards and sanitary conditions of that country are considered equivalent to U.S. standards and conditions.