China has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization against the European Union, over high poultry tariffs.
EU tariffs on Chinese exporters are around 40% higher than those from other nations, the country claims. China’s Ministry of Commerce says that these tariffs are damaging their interests and that the EU is breaching international trade rules, Chinese news outlet Xinhau reports
“Chinese poultry exporters have to pay higher tariffs to sell their products to European buyers. China has decided to sue the EU with the aim of defending the principle of free trade and the interest of our poultry businesses,” said Chen Fuli, deputy director of Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Commerce.
The European Union has set a quota for low-tariff poultry imports. So far, the EU has given an overwhelming 96% of this quota to Brazil and Thailand, leaving just 4% to China and the rest of the world. But because Chinese poultry exports to Europe are huge, the Ministry of Commerce says Chinese poultry companies now have to pay around 40% more in tariffs compared to their foreign counterparts.
The low quota was set for China in 2013, following the bird flu outbreak in China. But the Ministry of Commerce says the situation of one year should not form the permanent basis for an unfair quota.
Since it joined the WTO in 2001, China has petitioned the Dispute Settlement Body. So far, it has registered a total of 13 complaints for breach of rules, and also sued 21 times.