The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has filed a case before the World Trade Organization against China for imposing unfair duties on American chicken products. The United States is requesting dispute settlement consultations to challenge China’s imposition of antidumping and countervailing duties against imports of U.S. chicken broiler products, which are both chicken products that are not cut into pieces, as well as various cuts and pieces.
USTR Ron Kirk says China must play by the rules to which it agreed when it joined the WTO, including commitments to maintain open markets on a non-discriminatory basis, and to follow rules-based procedures in a transparent way.
Senate Ag Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., says these unfair practices have serious and devastating implications for the U.S. economy and American agriculture.
Under WTO rules, parties that do not resolve a matter through consultations within 60 days may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel. Before the imposition of these duties, the United States was China’s largest chicken broiler products supplier with over 600,000 metric tons of broiler products exported in 2009.
"The U.S. industry considers it unfortunate that this dispute has to be addressed through the formal WTO process, but believes that it is necessary that this incorrect methodology be challenged and that U.S. trading rights guaranteed by WTO agreements be protected," said a statement issued by the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and National Chicken Council.
Total chicken exports for the year are up 2.5%, but Chinese imports have fallen more than 83% from a year ago.
The action taken by USTR was also supported by House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.
"I intend to hold a hearing this fall to examine the barriers China continues to throw in front of the goods and services we are trying to sell and look forward to learning more about this case and other enforcement actions being pursued by USTR," Camp said.