WASHINGTON — China's anti-dumping investigation into poultry exports there is unjustified, the U.S. chicken industry said Sept. 14 in a statement from the National Chicken Council.

"China's announcement is obviously in direct retaliation for the U.S. action in putting tariffs on tires made in China," the statement said. "Charges of dumping of poultry products are completely unjustified. Our companies engage in normal trade with China, not dumping. We believe chicken is being targeted by the Chinese because of the concerns they have expressed over the provision in the U.S. appropriations act that prohibits the U.S. Department of Agriculture from determining China's ability to ship fully cooked poultry products to the United States."

China has requested a dispute resolution panel from the World Trade Organization over the appropriations provision.

In the first seven months of 2009, the U.S. exported 436,544 metric tons of chicken valued at $376 million to China. In 2008, the chicken trade with China totaled 757,786 metric tons valued at $682 million.