American poultry industry has welcomed the decision of the US government to approach global trade body WTO against India for imposing restrictions on imports of its agriculture products.
The US Trade Representative (USTR) has requested the World Trade Organization (WTO) to establish a dispute settlement panel to decide American claims regarding Indian restrictions on imports of various US agricultural products,including poultry meat and chicken eggs.
The National Chicken Council,National Turkey Federation and USA Poultry & Egg Export Council came out in support of USTR Ron Kirk and claimed that if the ‘trade barriers’ were eliminated,the value of US poultry exports to India each year would surpass USD 300 million.
India has asserted that its measures are aimed at preventing entry of avian influenza,but US officials argue that the measures are inconsistent with the relevant science,international guidelines and the standards India has set for its own domestic industry.
“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,” the three US organisations said in a statement.
“We support the dispute settlement process moving forward as soon as possible with the formation of this panel,” they said,alleging that India has used a variety of non-tariff trade barriers to deny access US poultry to the Indian market.
The industry has said the Indian move is a protectionist policy that is inconsistent with accepted internationalstandards,and has no health or safety justification.
“Although international health standards,in particular those of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE),identify only highly pathogenic stains of avian influenza as warranting trade restrictions,India has long ignored those international norms and has banned poultry imports from the United States or any country that reports any incident of avian influenza,even cases of low pathogenicity,” they said.
The two countries had held consultations on April 16-17,without resolution of the matter.