America’s poultry industry says it does not use chlorine to bath slaughtered chickens “that much anymore,” but it is still lobbying hard on the issue that has kept American poultry out of Britain for more than two decades.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, co-chair of the Congressional Chicken Caucus, has sent a bipartisan letter with 46 of his colleagues urging U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to prioritize “fair market access” for American poultry during upcoming trade negotiations between the United States and the United Kingdom. 

The mostly poultry state congressmen outlined the trade barriers U.S. producers currently face and called for the inclusion of U.S. poultry products in any new U.S.-U.K. trade agreement.

The letter says the U.S. needs to “seize the opportunity” to return American poultry products to Britain now that the U.K. has left the European Union, which has banned chlorine-washing poultry since 1997.

“The Administration has prioritized standing up for American agriculture, and it’s paramount that we embrace this economic opportunity with one of our closest allies,” Womack, R-AR, said.  

National Chicken Council President Mike Brown cited statistics.

“With almost one in five pounds of chicken being exported, a robust and expanding overseas market is extremely important to the economic health and well-being of the U.S. chicken industry,” said Brown. “Including U.S. chicken is critical in any new trade agreement with the U.K. — an agreement that should not be hampered by artificial trade barriers. I want to thank Congressman Womack for his leadership on this issue and for the members who signed the letter for their commitment to expanding U.S. chicken exports.”

National Turkey Federation President Joel Brandenberger, said, “America’s poultry producers are committed to raising high-quality, nutritious products. We appreciate Rep. Womack’s support of Arkansas turkey producers and processors through his leadership in calling for opening the United Kingdom to imports of U.S. poultry products as part of upcoming trade negotiations. Greater access to export markets for the U.S. turkey industry supports jobs and communities throughout Arkansas.”

Signing the letter with Womack were  Representatives:

  •  Robert Aderholt (R-AL), 
  • Jodey Arrington (R-TX), 
  • Dan Bishop (R-NC), 
  • Mike Bost (R-IL), 
  • Buddy Carter (R-GA), 
  • Ben Cline (R-VA), 
  • Doug Collins (R-GA), 
  • James Comer (R-KY), 
  • Rick Crawford (R-AR), 
  • Rodney Davis (R-IL), 
  • Drew Ferguson (R-GA), 
  • Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), 
  • Bob Gibbs (R-OH), 
  • Michael Guest R-(MS),
  • Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), 
  • Andy Harris (R-MD), 
  • Vicky Hartzler (R-MO),
  •  Kevin Hern (R-OK),
  •  French Hill (R-AR), 
  • George Holding (R-NC),
  •  Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN), 
  • Richard Hudson (R-NC), 
  • Bill Huizenga (R-MI), 
  • Dusty Johnson (R-SD)
  • Fred Keller (R-PA), 
  • Trent Kelly (R-MS), 
  • Billy Long (R-MO), 
  • Frank Lucas (R-OK),
  •  Roger Marshall (R-KS), 
  • John Moolenaar (R-MI), 
  • Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), 
  • Steven Palazzo (R-MS), 
  • Martha Roby (R-AL), 
  • Mike Rogers (R-AL), 
  • David Rouzer (R-NC),
  • Austin Scott (R-GA), 
  • David Scott (D-GA), 
  • Adrian Smith (R-NE), 
  • Jason Smith (R-MO), 
  • Greg Steube (R-FL), 
  • Tim Walberg (R-MI)), 
  • Jackie Walorski (R-IN), 
  • Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), 
  • Bruce Westerman (R-AR), 
  • Rob Woodall (R-GA), 
  • Ted Yoho (R-FL).