Will Chicken Feet Prevent A Trade War?
In one of the more unintentionally amusing articles on a serious topic I've read in a while, the New York Times explains why the U.S. might avoid a trade war with China over recent action regarding tire tariffs. China threatened to stop the U.S. from "dumping" poultry in its nation. The Times says that's not likely to happen, because the Chinese won't be able to live without the delicious chicken feet that the U.S. provides.
Here's the choice quote from the Times:
"We have these jumbo, juicy paws the Chinese really love," said Paul W. Aho, a poultry economist and consultant, "so I don't think they are going to cut us off."
Why does this matter? Because we have lots of chicken feet in the U.S., and we don't care much for them. So we sell them to the Chinese, who love them:
About half of the chicken parts sold to China are wings and feet, which are worth only a few cents a pound in the United States. As delicacies in China, they fetch 60 cents to 80 cents a pound, a price that no other foreign market comes close to matching, according to industry experts.
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've never tried chicken feet, though I've had numerous opportunities at my favorite dim sum spot located deep in New York City's Chinatown. Many of my Chinese friends swear they're great. But I just can't get past the idea of chewing on a foot. That probably makes me close minded, but I eat virtually everything else the carts bring around, so I don't feel too bad turning away the baskets containing chicken feet.
At any rate, I wonder if Chinese demand for chicken feet really will nullify China's threat to curb importing U.S. poultry. With any luck, the Atlantic's resident China expert, James Fallows will soon weigh in on the topic. I'd be willing to bet he's tried chicken feet as well.