US may sue EU over poultry dispute

11-06-2008 | | |

The US may sue the European Union at the World Trade Organisation over the EU’s ban on imports of US poultry.

The Business Spectator has reported that an official, speaking on condition of anonymity, stated: “The idea that the Americans are going to take us to Geneva I think is very possible.”
In 1997, the EU imposed a ban on US poultry because producers in the US use a chlorine wash on chicken carcasses. This is not allowed in the EU.
Washington has reportedly expressed growing annoyance with the ban and considers it a test case for the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), which it set up in 2007 with Brussels to smooth trade and business between the two giant economies. In May, the European Commission proposed ending the ban, though with strict conditions.
However, EU veterinary experts rejected the proposal, hoping for progress to settle the dispute before the up-coming EU-US summit in Slovenia.
The EU official also said that the US has not yet told the EU’s executive European Commission that it will be launching litigation against the bloc at the WTO over the case.

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