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China may exempt some US farm exports from Zika rules

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U.S. farm exports from regions not affected by the Zika virus may eventually be excluded from China’s new rules requiring mosquito treatments for incoming goods. Currently, however, agricultural exporters have to treat outgoing shipping containers with pesticides to kill the mosquitoes, which spread the birth defect-causing virus.

Within the U.S.A, local transmission of Zika through mosquitoes has only occurred in Florida, but even so China has imposed its shipping regulations on all U.S. imports, creating the potential for trade disruption.

China’s Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, or AQSIQ, will conduct a risk assessment “to determine whether to apply a regional approach in its Zika response,” according to USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service.

At this point, there’s no time limit for when Chinese trade officials will decide, the agency said.