China imposed the poultry tariffs in September 2010. It claimed US chicken producers benefited from subsidies and were exporting their goods to China at unfairly low prices. Countries can impose punitive tariffs to offset both practices, but US officials said China did not follow proper procedures when it imposed them.
Tariffs were imposed against Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim's Pride, Keystone Foods and many smaller companies, said Toby Moore, a spokesman for the US Poultry and Egg Export Council.
Before the tariffs were imposed, China was among the top two markets for US chicken exports. The other was Russia. US trade officials said since then, exports have dropped 90 percent, which could cost the US industry more than $1 billion over two years.
China intends to study Washington's request for talks on the issue and would handle the issue according to WTO dispute settlement procedures, the ministry said.