WTO adopts ruling in favor of US poultry
by Meat&Poultry Staff
WASHINGTON – The World Trade Organization adopted a ruling by a dispute resolution panel that China violated numerous global trade rules when it imposed anti-dumping duties against US broiler chicken products. China must now comply with its WTO obligations.
“Today's announcement is welcome news to US chicken producers, who look forward to once again competing in this viable export market without unjustified trade restrictions,” said Mike Brown, National Chicken Council president. “We're hopeful that mutually beneficial trade in poultry products between China and the United States can now be restored as soon as possible. Today’s news sends a clear message to other countries that have similarly brought unjustified antidumping duties on US chicken products.”
The dispute began in September 2009 when China alleged that US chicken unfairly benefited from low corn prices and used average cost accounting to document that chicken leg quarters were sold to China at prices below the cost of producing a whole carcass chicken. WTO has previously ruled that average cost accounting is not an acceptable methodology to determining whether a particular part of chicken or similar animal was “dumped” into an export market.
United States Trade Representative Michael Froman said the WTO's decision was a significant victory for American farmers and chicken producers.
“Given the wide-ranging violations found by the WTO, I hope that China’s acceptance of the WTO’s decision without appeal signals a recognition by China that it needs to take a serious look at its trade remedies regime and bring its rules, procedures and practices into line with its WTO obligations,” Froman said.
Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), said it was important for the US and China “...to put this unfortunate situation behind us as quickly as possible”.
“We’re also hopeful that China will remove anti-dumping duties on US chicken imports quickly,” Sumner said.
In 2009 – the year before China imposed the duties – the US exports of broiler meat to China totaled 613,000 metric tons, according to the US Trade Representative's office. Exports fell almost 90 percent after China imposed the duties.
Sumner has made several trips to China for discussions with representatives of the China's poultry industry and with government officials. In November 2012, Sumner met with the deputy director of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
“We basically both agreed in principle at that time to accept the WTO panel’s ruling and to move forward,” Sumner said. “It has not been in either of our best interests.”