US Industry Makes Joint Statement on Antimicrobial Issue

by 5m Editor
9 October 2009, at 6:10pm

US - USA Poultry & Egg Export Council, National Chicken Council and National Turkey Federation have made a joint statement regarding the World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Panel for the US/EU poultry antimicrobial issue.

US poultry companies and organizations have applauded action by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that the United States will formally institute proceedings before the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging a major European Union (EU) restriction on US poultry.

The EU has deprived US poultry companies a fair opportunity to compete in that market for the past 12 years by imposing protectionist and unjustified non-tariff trade barriers on US poultry. At issue in this case is the use by US poultry processors of four commonly employed and beneficial antimicrobials which the European Union's own scientific committees have reviewed and have determined to be safe. Despite the advice and recommendations of its own scientific committees, the EU has continued to maintain a ban on US poultry imports.

The United States considers the EU ban on US poultry to violate several provisions of WTO law, including provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

The US poultry industry appreciates the strong leadership of US Trade Representative, Ron Kirk, and his staff in moving forward to WTO dispute settlement in this case. Ambassador Kirk has previously indicated that the Obama Administration would pursue a policy of more stringent enforcement of existing international agreements, and the initiation of this case demonstrates Ambassador Kirk's commitment to that policy. In pursuing this case, USTR will have the strong and enthusiastic support of the undersigned organizations and the members they represent.

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