US Wins Trade Dispute with China over Chicken Products

US - The World Trade Organization has backed the US in its trade dispute with China over the imposition of tariffs on broiler products.
calendar icon 27 September 2013
clock icon 4 minute read

The WTO has adopted the dispute settlement panel report published on 2 August 2013.

The report says that China’s imposition of duties on US chicken products violates international trade rules.

With the report now formally adopted by the WTO Dispute Settlement Body, China must bring itself into compliance with its WTO obligations.

In 2009 – the year before China imposed the duties – the United States exported over 613,000 metric tons of broiler meat to China. Exports fell almost 90 per cent after the imposition of the duties.

“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 US exports and U.S. jobs,” said United States Trade Representative Michael Froman.

“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.”

“Our poultry producers and all of our businesses and workers expect and deserve a fair, rules-based trade system. This report is a win for them,” said Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker.

“At the Commerce Department, we work hard to ensure that the US abides by our WTO obligations and that our investigations are transparent and procedurally fair to all parties.

“We will continue to work across the US government to ensure that China recognises that pursuing antidumping or countervailing-duty measures that are unjustified or based on political considerations is a losing strategy. More broadly, my Department will continue to support America’s entrepreneurs and businesses as they compete in the global economy and create good jobs here at home.”

“USDA’s long-standing partnership with the Office of the US Trade Representative has been instrumental in addressing barriers to US agricultural exports, and today’s good news marks another accomplishment on behalf of US producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

“China’s prohibitive duties caused a steep decline in exports of high quality US broiler products to China, and with today’s news from the WTO, we look forward to seeing China’s market for broiler products restored for US farmers and chicken producers.”

On 27 September 2009, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) initiated antidumping and countervailing investigations of imports of so-called “broiler products” from the United States.

Broiler products include most chicken products, with the exception of live chickens and a few other chicken products such as cooked and canned chicken. MOFCOM imposed antidumping and countervailing duties on these products on 26 September 2010 and 30 August 2010, respectively.

The antidumping duties ranged from 50.3 per cent to 53.4 per cent for the US producers who responded to MOFCOM’s investigation notice, while MOFCOM set an “all others” rate of 105.4 per cent.

In the CVD investigation, MOFCOM imposed countervailing duties ranging between 4.0 percent and 12.5 per cent for the participating US producers and an “all others” rate of 30.3 per cent.

On 20 September 2011, the United States requested dispute settlement consultations with China concerning the conduct and results of MOFCOM’s anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations.

After consultations proved unsuccessful, the United States requested that the WTO establish a panel to hear US claims that China violated numerous procedural and substantive obligations under the WTO’s Antidumping Agreement and Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

In its report, the Panel found in favour of the United States on nearly all US claims.

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