Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Carper, Kaufman Call on President Obama to Address Russian Trade Barriers with President Medvedev

Restrictions could negatively impact nearly 500,000 U.S. jobs

June 21, 2010

WASHINGTON - Today, Sens. Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.) joined 23 of their Senate colleagues in sending a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to address Russian trade barriers on U.S. poultry imports during his upcoming meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The bipartisan group of senators emphasized that internationally recognized science methodology has proven U.S. poultry to be safe and that current restrictions are unwarranted.  
 
"As the largest market for chicken exports, Russia's ban on poultry is of serious concern to Delaware farmers," said Sen. Carper. "For every person in Delaware, there are 300 chickens. They've certainly got us outnumbered. A prolonged ban on U.S. poultry by Russia would result in a significant loss in revenue for Delaware's poultry industry and farmers who depend on it for their livelihood.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the United States Department of Agriculture have been actively engaged in discussions with Russian officials to address their concerns with U.S. poultry.  Unfortunately their efforts have yet to reverse the ban. I hope the President accepts our request and directly addresses Russia's trade restrictions on U.S. poultry with President Medvedev later this month."
 
"U.S. poultry plants are willing to make changes to address the needs of Russian consumers. I hope the President can put the issue back on the table to work out a compromise. The poultry industry is a strong source of jobs and revenue in Delaware, and we will continue to do all we can to lift this seemingly arbitrary ban," said Sen. Kaufman.
 
Over the last three years, U.S. poultry exports to Russia averaged more than $800 million in value, making Russia the single largest U.S. export market.  The poultry industry represents over 500,000 jobs in the United States.

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