US asks for WTO panel in poultry spat with China

Updated: 2011-12-09 09:33


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WASHINGTON - The US government said Thursday that it is asking the World Trade Organization (WTO) to take new steps to settle a trade dispute with China over its duties on US chicken products.

The United States is requesting the WTO to establish a dispute settlement panel to address China's imposition of antidumping (AD) duties and countervailing duties (CVD) on US imports of chicken "broiler products", chickens less than 13 weeks old, the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced in a statement.

"We are serious about holding China accountable to its WTO commitments and ensuring that there is a level playing field for American businesses -- including our farmers," said Kirk.

US companies were accused of selling chicken in China at below-market prices and of receiving government subsidies, and China imposed CVD and AD and on these products beginning in August and September 2010, respectively.

China has defended its anti-dumping and countervailing measures on US chicken products, in response to US accusation that such moves did not follow World Trade Organization rules.

"China believes its anti-dumping and countervailing measures on US chicken products are in accordance with the law and conform to WTO rules," the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said in a statement in September this year.

The MOC concluded that US producers had received improper government subsidies for their exports to China and hurt China's domestic industry.

Requesting a panel to hear a case is the next step in the WTO dispute settlement process after requesting consultations. The consultations over the issue between the United States and China, held in Geneva on Oct 28, 2011, did not resolve the dispute.