US Trade Representative Ron Kirk has announced that the US has requested the World Trade Organisation (WTO) establish a dispute settlement panel to decide US claims regarding the government of India’s restrictions on imports of various US agricultural products, including poultry meat and chicken eggs.
“It is essential that US farmers obtain the reliable market access that India agreed to,” said Kirk in a press release. “The United States holds its agriculture industry to the highest standards of safety and is confident the WTO will agree that there is no justification for India’s restrictions on US exports.”
In response to today’s announcement, the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council released the following statement:
“Unfortunately, the government of India did not lift its unwarranted restrictions on US poultry after consultations with the United States at the WTO in Geneva. However, we are pleased that USTR is taking the next step. We support the dispute settlement process moving forward as soon as possible with the formation of this panel.”
India has long employed its own standards and trade restriction policies and has banned poultry imports from any country reporting avian influenza, even in cases of low pathogenicity.
By conservative estimates, if India’s trade barriers were eliminated, the value of U.S. poultry exports to India each year would surpass $300 million.