The thin line between food safety and protectionism

From the WSJ (subscription required):
China is expected to ban imports of U.S. chicken in coming days, a move likely to deliver a blow to the struggling American chicken industry and escalate trade tensions between the two nations.

James H. Sumner, president of the Georgia-based USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, said he learned Tuesday from "several importers" in China that the U.S. wouldn't receive any import permits from the country's ministry of commerce starting July 1.
To the U.S., it is a food safety issue, whereas to China it looks like protectionism:
Mr. Sumner says the potential ban appears to be tied to a provision in the most recent U.S. spending bill that prohibits the USDA from allowing Chinese chicken plants to send poultry products to the U.S. Lawmakers question whether China's chicken processing plants meet U.S. standards.

A ban on U.S. chicken would be the latest example of food safety and trade colliding. In recent months the U.S. has been under pressure from lawmakers and trade groups to crack down on goods coming from China. China has responded with allegations of U.S. protectionism.
Both sides may have a legitimate point, so add this to a growing list of tricky trade issues on the table.

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