US wins WTO chicken case against China

Dispute settlement panel found that China violated numerous WTO rules in imposing antidumping and countervailing duties on U.S. broiler products.

UNITED States Trade Representative Michael Froman, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced Friday that the U.S. won a major case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on behalf of American chicken producers, proving that China's imposition of higher duties on broiler products – which was precipitated an 80% drop in export of those products to China – is unjustified under international trade rules. A WTO dispute settlement panel found that China violated numerous WTO obligations in imposing anti-dumping and countervailing duties on chicken imports from the U.S.

“Agricultural exports continue to be a strong and growing component of U.S. exports. Farm exports in fiscal year 2012 reached $135.8 billion and supported 1 million jobs here at home. More than $23 billion worth of those agricultural products went to China alone. But China's prohibitive duties on broiler products were followed by a steep decline in exports to China – and now we look forward to seeing China's market for broiler products restored,” said Secretary Vilsack. “This is an important victory today for the U.S. poultry industry, and for American farmers and ranchers.”

On Sept. 27, 2009, China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) initiated antidumping and countervailing investigations of imports of broiler products from the U.S., including most chicken products with the exception of live chickens and a few other cooked and canned chicken products. MOFCOM imposed antidumping and countervailing duties on these products on Sept. 26, 2010 and Aug. 30, 2010, respectively, ranging from 50.3% to 53.4% for U.S. producers who responded to MOFCOM's investigation notice, while MOFCOM set an "all others" rate of 105.4%.

MOFCOM also imposed countervailing duties ranging between 4.0% and 12.5% for the participating U.S. producers and an "all others" rate of 30.3%.

On Sept. 20, 2011, the United States requested dispute settlement consultations with China concerning the conduct and results of MOFCOM's antidumping and countervailing duty investigations. After consultations proved unsuccessful, the U.S. requested that the WTO establish a panel to hear U.S. claims that China violated numerous procedural and substantive obligations under the WTO's Antidumping Agreement and Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

In its report, the Panel found in favor of the United States on nearly all U.S. claims.

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