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WTO Rules Chinese High Tariffs on Chicken Unlawful

05 August 2013

US - The US has won a major case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on behalf of American chicken producers.

The victory showed that China's imposition of higher duties on chicken "broiler products" – which was followed by an 80-per cent drop in American exports of those products to China – is unjustified under international trade rules.

A WTO dispute settlement panel agreed with the United States, finding that China violated numerous WTO obligations in conducting its investigations and imposing anti-dumping (AD) duties and countervailing duties (CVD) on chicken imports from the United States.

The Monitoring and Enforcement unit of the Office of the US Trade Representative and other USTR staff worked closely with the US Department of Commerce and the US Department of Agriculture in preparing and litigating this case. Personnel from the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center (ITEC), created by President Obama to enhance US trade enforcement capabilities, also provided support for the dispute.

"This decision sends a clear message that the Obama Administration can fight and win for American farmers, businesses, and workers in the global trading system, ensuring that America gets the benefit of the rules and market access we have negotiated in our international trade agreements," said United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman.

"WTO Members must use trade remedies strictly in accordance with their commitments, and we hope that this win will discourage further violations that hurt American exporters."

"When US producers or exporters face antidumping or countervailing duty investigations abroad, the Department of Commerce stands ready to help them understand their rights and secure a fair process," said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

"My Department was proud to work with USTR in addressing this misuse of trade remedies by China. In the US, we work hard to ensure that our investigations into unfair trade actions are transparent, procedurally fair to all parties, and consistent with our WTO obligations. We expect nothing less for the US industry in foreign trade remedy investigations. We are committed to ensuring that other countries play by the rules and will continue to work with USTR to achieve that goal."

"Agricultural exports continue to be a strong and growing component of US exports. Farm exports in fiscal year 2012 reached $135.8 billion and supported 1 million jobs here at home. More than $23 billion worth of those agricultural products went to China alone. But China's prohibitive duties on broiler products were followed by a steep decline in exports to China – and now we look forward to seeing China's market for broiler products restored," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

"This is an important victory today for the US poultry industry, and for American farmers and ranchers."

This is the second of three recent WTO disputes in which the United States has challenged important flaws in China's administration of its antidumping and countervailing duty measures. The United States has prevailed in the first two disputes, on a specialty steel product and now on chicken broiler products, and is actively litigating a third regarding automobiles.

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