US Challenging China Over Failure to Remove Tariffs on Broiler Meat

US - US Trade Representative Michael Froman has said that the US is mounting a challenge to China at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because of the Chinese Government’s failure to bring its duties on imports of US chicken broiler products into compliance with WTO rules.
calendar icon 11 May 2016
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The trade office said the duties have remained despite a WTO report that previously found China to be breaching its WTO obligations.

“Today’s action holds China accountable for unfair taxes they are imposing on American exports of broiler chicken products,” said US Trade Representative Michael Froman.

“These unfair and unjustified taxes are in direct violation of China’ s international commitments and tilt the playing field further against America’s poultry farmers.

"American farmers deserve a fair shot to compete and win in the global economy and this Administration will continue to hold China responsible when they attempt to disadvantage our farmers, businesses and workers. Today’s action is the 12th that this Administration has taken against China at the WTO – and to date we have won every case that been decided.”

A news release from China's Xinhua News Agency said that the Chinese Ministry of Commerce regrets the US' decision and will deal with the issue according to the WTO dispute settlement process.

China implemented the tariffs in 2010, claiming subsidised poultry products were being dumped on the Chinese market.

In 2013, a WTO dispute settlement panel comprehensively found that China’s anti-dumping and countervailing duties violated its WTO obligations. Xinhua News Agency reported that China subsequently reviewed the issue, but still considered the US to be dumping meat.

The poultry industry in the US welcomed the move by the US trade authorities.

“The US chicken industry applauds today’s announcement by US Trade Representative Michael Froman that USTR will request that the World Trade Organisation take action against China for its failure to eliminate its anti-dumping and countervailing duties on US chicken exports,” said the National Chicken Council and the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council in a joint statement.

“We are also grateful for the support of US Senators Chris Coons, Johnny Isakson, Tom Carper and John Boozman, as members of the Senate’s 'Chicken Caucus', for their steadfast support of US chicken producers in this case.”

As one of the main export destinations for products like chicken paws and wingtips, China is an important market to the US. The sale of these products added considerable value to the US broiler industry, and the duties imposed by China have unfairly hindered access to this important market, the poultry bodies said.

“We are heartened to see that USTR will not back down when it comes to enforcing our rights, and in making sure we truly get the market access we bargained for,” the poultry groups concluded.

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