WTO Rules in US' Favour Over Indian Poultry Import Ban

US - The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has ruled that India's ban on imports of US poultry products discriminates against the US.
calendar icon 5 June 2015
clock icon 3 minute read

India had banned imports of agricultural products such as poultry meat, eggs and live pigs.

India claims the ban was maintained to protect the country from avian influenza. However, the WTO found that India's ban was not based on scientific principles regarding the disease, and that it was maintained without sufficient scientific evidence.

The WTO panel and Appellate Body agreed with US claims that India discriminates against US products in favour of Indian products and that India’s restrictions are not adapted to the characteristics of US exporting regions.

This victory will help address barriers to the Indian market for US farmers, including those in the US poultry industry in particular, and also signals to other WTO Members that they must ensure that any avian influenza restrictions they impose are grounded in science, such as by taking into account the limited geographic impact from outbreaks.

“I welcome this win, which will help us eliminate unjustified trade barriers so US farmers can sell high quality US agricultural products to customers around the world,” said US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

“The Administration is fully committed to enforcing US rights to ensure Americans benefit from all the opportunities the United States has negotiated under our trade agreements."

“This decision affirms the importance of basing agricultural trade requirements on sound science,” said US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

“This is a major win for US agriculture and, in particular, the US poultry industry. Today, America's poultry producers are being challenged again by an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza, and this decision serves to encourage USDA's efforts to maintain open markets for US poultry based on international standards.

"A rules-based international trading system is critical to allow US farmers and ranchers to compete on a level playing field worldwide.”

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