China has filed a complaint against the European Union (EU) to the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning poultry meat tariffs.

Chinese officials state that EU tariffs on Chinese exporters are about 40 percent higher than those from other countries, which the county’s leaders believe violates international trade rules.

"In the EU market, Chinese poultry exporters are, in a manner of speaking, ‘dancing with their feet chained.’ They have to pay higher tariffs to sell their products to European buyers. China has decided to sue the EU with the aim of defending the principle of free trade and the interest of our poultry businesses," Chen Fuli, deputy director of Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Commerce, told Xinhuanet.


The European Union has set a quota for low-tariff poultry imports, but 96 percent of that quota was given to Brazil and Thailand, the ministry said.

The low quota for China was established in 2013, following widespread outbreaks of avian influenza that severely hit the Chinese poultry industry. However, Chinese officials say the avian influenza situation in 2013 should not result in a permanent quota it deems unfair.

The WTO noted that this is China’s 13th request for consultations since it joined the WTO in 2001, and its fourth complaint against measures adopted by the EU.