Tags: China | Chicken | Feet | Trade | Dispute

US, China Clucking Over Imports of 'Chicken Paws'

Friday, 16 Dec 2011 03:19 PM

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A trade war is brewing with China over a little-known but lucrative U.S. export -- “chicken paws.” The product is better known as chicken feet and is a part of the bird that usually ends up in pet food, The Washington Post reported.

However, in China, chicken feet, which are called chicken paws in the poultry industry, are marinated and cooked, and turned into a snack usually served with beer. The U.S. chicken industry began shipping the feet to China about a decade ago and in 2009 sent more than 375,000 metric tons worth $278 million to the country, according to the Post.

China, acting on the complaints of its own poultry industry, began imposing stiff tariffs on the products, following allegations of government subsidies and charges that U.S. chicken producers were selling at below-market costs. The move virtually collapsed the market and the Obama administration has taken the dispute to the World Trade Organization, the Post reported.

“We are serious about holding China accountable to its WTO commitments and ensuring that there is a level playing field for American businesses — including our farmers,” U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said, according to the Post.

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