India is expected to challenge a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that the country's ban on U.S. poultry products is unfair and inconsistent with standard global trade obligations.
The ruling was issued on October 14, when the WTO stated India’s ban on U.S. poultry “arbitrarily and unjustifiably” discriminates between members where identical or similar conditions prevail. India placed its ban on U.S. poultry products in 2007 citing it wanted to protect itself from low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), but produced no scientific evidence to support the ban’s validity. In response, the U.S. initiated consultations in 2012, refuting India’s claims that LPAI will mutate into a highly pathogenic form of the virus.
India’s Department of Commerce is working on the "feasibility of filing an appeal against the WTO's panel report" in consultation with the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, according to sources.
The WTO ruling was praised by Jim Sumner, president of USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC), and Mike Brown, president of the National Chicken Council (NCC), who called the ban “thinly veiled protectionism.”
“Our industry believes that free and fair trade – particularly with food – should never be used as a political bargaining chip. Indian consumers deserve access to affordable and safe protein, which the U.S. has the ability to provide,” Sumner and Brown said in a joint statement.