The World Trade Organization (WTO) struck down China’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty measures on broiler chickens from the United States on Aug. 2. Since China imposed anti-dumping and countervailing duties, U.S. exports of chicken products to the Asian nation have been cut by 80 percent. The U.S. took the issue to the WTO in September 2011.
“This announcement is welcome news to U.S. poultry producers and the U.S. poultry industry,” said Bill Lovette, who is both president and chairman of the National Chicken Council and CEO of Pilgrim’s Pride. “Regaining meaningful access to this critical market presents an opportunity to compete in a valuable and viable export market.”
Lovette praised Obama administration officials for their work to secure a fair international playing field for the U.S. chicken industry, including Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Trade Representative Michael Froman. He said the U.S. poultry industry looks forward to bringing high-quality poultry products to its partners and customers in China.
While U.S. chicken producers will benefit from the ruling, so will Chinese consumers since American chicken is generally seen as safer than China’s own, which has recently been the subject of both television and government investigations.
This is also the second recent victory the U.S has won over China in the WTO. The first involved steel products. A third dispute involving automobiles remains to be decided.
A dispute resolution panel from the WTO found that China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) did not involve other interested parties when it investigated the issue. In addition to the U.S, other parties included the European Union, Japan, Norway, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Chile and Mexico.
The U.S. claim, upheld by the WTO, was that China had acted inconsistently with the international Anti-Dumping Agreement. The WTO panel also recommended that China bring its measures into conformity with obligations under the international agreements.
Where there is an infringement of obligations under the agreements, the ruling states, “the action is considered prima facie to constitute a case of nullification or impairment. We conclude that, to the extent that the measures at issue are inconsistent with Anti-Dumping Agreement and the SCM Agreement, they have nullified or impaired benefits accruing to the United States under these agreements.”© Food Safety News