FT suggests recipe for China-U.S. trade through example of "chicken feet" deal - Xinhua

LONDON, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- China's love for U.S. chicken feet "provides a recipe for a perfect trade" between the world's two largest economies, said the Financial Times (FT) in a report Monday.

The deal to sell American chicken feet to the Chinese market, reached this year following long and intense negotiations, was made possible after the U.S. poultry industry succeeded in opening the U.S. market to chicken cooked in China, the FT noted.

Chicken feet are worthless to most Americans, said the FT, adding that "selling the feet to China in enormous frozen blocks rather than throwing them away in the U.S. makes for a nice difference in profits" for U.S. chicken producers whose profit margins are tight.

On the other hand, opening America's door to Chinese cooked chicken, or chicken sold in cans and frozen dinners, "would allow the Chinese industry to grow 5 percent a year faster," said the FT, quoting estimates from a Chinese chicken industry association.

Moreover, Chinese labor has been so far below American canning industry wages, allowing U.S. producers to cut cost and U.S. consumers to spend less. The deal also helped create more jobs in the Chinese food processing industry, added the FT.

Despite all the benefits, it took years of negotiations between the two sides to finally strike the deal that involved mutual understanding and compromises.

The FT took congressional deadlock to Chinese chicken processors and food safety concerns as examples.

But the problem was solved by a proposal from U.S. chicken producers that limited the trade with China to chicken carcasses that had been frozen and shipped to China, cooked and canned and then shipped back to the United States.

"That killed two birds with one stone," noted the FT.

So far, four Chinese chicken factories have passed inspections of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the FT.

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