September 22, 2011


China defends anti-dumping levy on US chicken


China maintained that its anti-dumping and countervailing duties on US chicken products are legal and in line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, the Ministry of Commerce said Wednesday (Sep 21).


The duties are widely seen as retaliation for a US congressional ban on imports of cooked chicken from China, as well as US President Barack Obama's decision in September 2009 to slap an emergency 35% tariff on Chinese-made tyres.


Beijing has accused US companies of selling chicken in China at below market prices and of receiving government subsidies. It finalised the duties last year.


But the US said Chinese officials did not follow WTO rules in their dumping and subsidy investigations.


China had sought to overturn the tyre tariffs at the WTO, but the world trade body's appellate court ruled the US was justified in taking the action under the terms of China's 2001 accession to the WTO.


The office of the US Trade Representative said Beijing had won its case on the ban of cooked chicken and that the US Congress had let the provision expire.


US producers sold about US$650 million in poultry to China in 2008 and 2009, but shipments fell to about US$136 million in 2010 and totalled only US$37 million in the first half of this year, a US industry aide said after the US announcement on Tuesday.


WTO procedures require the two countries to first try to resolve the trade dispute through consultations. If no agreement is reached within 60 days of starting talks, the US can ask a WTO panel to hear the case.


China's Commerce Ministry said it would carefully review the US request for consultations and appropriately resolve the issue according to WTO dispute settlement procedures.

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