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U.S. and China Discuss Chicken as Trade Talks Progress

A chicken's head protrudes from a cage. Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan

As the Trump administration touts progress on a deal with China to reshape the trading relationship, Beijing is said to be requesting a compromise over poultry.

China is asking to ship products made from its chicken to the U.S. in return for reopening its market for American poultry after four years, according to a person with knowledge of the U.S. position in the talks. Feet, wings and legs are on the table amid intense trade talks between the two countries that could result in a deal as early as March, the person said, asking not to be identified because negotiations are private.

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The U.S. is asking Beijing to make substantial reforms on poultry to address longstanding concerns, the person said, adding that there is optimism about the discussions on the matter.

Talks about poultry have come to light recently while soybeans had appeared to be front and center for the last few months. On Feb. 23, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue confirmed that poultry is among the commodities such as beef, rice, corn, ethanol and sorghum under discussion.

For poultry, the U.S. wants China to lift the nationwide ban and limit future restrictions to the region around an infected area, the person said. China prohibited U.S. poultry in 2015 due to an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Nearly all other nationwide bans following the outbreak have been lifted.

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