The World Trade Organization (WTO) has formally adopted the August 2 dispute settlement panel report that favors the U.S. poultry industry in a dispute where China restricted U.S. chicken exports. In the ruling, China's imposition of duties on U.S. broiler products was determined to be in violation of international trade rules.
The case dates back to 2010, after China accused the U.S. of dumping and imposed tariffs on imports of chicken products. In the Chinese antidumping case, China alleged U.S. chicken producers benefitted from subsidies and were exporting poultry at unfair prices. U.S. poultry interests quickly appealed to the WTO to resolve the situation.
With the report now formally adopted, China must comply with WTO obligations. Chinese officials have agreed to not appeal the ruling.
"This decision represents a significant victory for American farmers and chicken producers, and proves that the United States will not stand by while our trade partners unfairly hurt U.S. exports and U.S. jobs," said United States trade representative, Michael Froman, who announced the WTO's adoption of the ruling. "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."
U.S. poultry trade groups are welcoming the decision.
"This announcement is welcome news to U.S. chicken producers, who look forward to once again competing in this viable export market without unjustified trade restrictions," said Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council. "We're hopeful that mutually beneficial trade in poultry products between China and the United States can now be restored as soon as possible."
"The most important thing for both sides is to put this unfortunate situation behind us as quickly as possible," added Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council. "We're also hopeful that China will remove the antidumping duties on U.S. chicken imports quickly."
Sumner made several trips to China in 2012 and 2013 for discussions with the Chinese poultry industry and government officials. Those meetings should be beneficial as the two countries work together for the greater good of the global poultry industry.
"We realize that the Chinese industry is going through some difficult times, but USAPEEC has pledged to work with Chinese producers to expand poultry consumption in China," Sumner said. "We're thankful that they recognize the benefit of working together for the benefit of both industries."