Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Aug09/10)
set over US measures on Chinese poultry
in SUNS #6754 dated 3 August 2009
31 Jul (Kanaga Raja) -- The WTO Dispute Settlement Body on Friday agreed
to establish a panel, at the request of China, to rule on certain measures
imposed by the United States affecting imports of poultry from China.
was a second-time request and panel establishment was automatic.
EC, Korea, Guatemala
and Turkey reserved
their third-party rights to the dispute.
its communication to the DSB, China challenged certain related measures that
prevent the importation of poultry products from China
into the United States.
said China, various US laws, including, e. g., Section 727 of Division
A of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (signed into law as Public
Law 111-8), as such, prohibit the expenditure of any US Government funds
necessary to allow for the importation of poultry products from China.
there is an ongoing US moratorium in the form of a suspension of: (a)
the consideration of applications for the approval of, (b) granting
of approval of, and ( c) implementation of approvals of, the import
of poultry products from China.
moratorium results in a ban on the import of poultry products into the
US from China,
to the Chinese communication, Section 727 of the Omnibus Act currently
prohibits the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) from taking action,
including expending funds to: (1) establish or implement measures allowing
for the importation from China of poultry products, including those
that the USDA has already determined are eligible to be so imported
under existing US measures; and (2) establish or implement measures
expanding the scope of poultry products that may be imported from China.
necessary consequence of Section 727 is to compel and sustain a prohibition
on the ability of USDA to take those actions that are required by US
law and regulations before the US
can permit the importation of poultry products from China. This results in a ban on the
import of poultry products from China
into the US.
"This is inconsistent with the United
States' WTO obligations," said China.
addition, since at least December 2007, the US has imposed a moratorium
in the form of a suspension of: (a) consideration of applications for
the approval of, (b) granting of approval of, and ( c) implementation
of approvals of, the import of poultry products from China under the
US system for regulating the import of poultry products.
system includes the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), as amended,
and the related regulations of the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection
Service (FSIS Regulations).
to China, the moratorium
is also effectuated by the deliberate failure of the US to follow and implement the PPIA and the FSIS
Regulations (e. g., for inspections, auditing, and evaluation) related
to the eligibility of countries and entities to import poultry products,
as applied to China.
By contrast, the US
follows and implements such laws, regulations, and procedures for other
argued that the effect of this moratorium has been to ban the import
of poultry products from China into the US. "The moratorium and resulting
ban on the import of poultry products from China
into the US are inconsistent
with the United States'
China requested that a panel be established
pursuant to Article 6 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding; Article
XXIII: 2 of the GATT 1994; Article 19 of the Agriculture Agreement;
and Article 11 of the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Agreement.
its statement at the DSB, China said that the US
has imposed measures that constitute clear violations of its WTO obligations,
and result in a complete ban on the import of poultry products from
added that although it has repeatedly expressed its serious concerns
to the US, both bilaterally and multilaterally,
unfortunately, this matter has not been solved so far. As a result,
given its systemic and practical concerns, China said that it has no alternative
but to renew its request for a panel.
disappointment over China's panel request, the US said that it did not agree with China's assertions
that the measure at issue amounts to a discriminatory or protectionist
US maintained that
nothing in the measure identified by China
prevents the relevant US
authorities from continuing to work together to reach an objective,
science-based response to China's
request for a declaration of equivalence with respect to poultry products.
US said that these
authorities are examining whether China's
food safety system ensures that poultry products from China meet the US level of protection, and they are
proceeding in a way that both safeguards human life and health and is
consistent with US obligations under the WTO Agreement.
addition, the US
said that it does not agree with China's
statement that this measure should forestall the normal business of
trade between the US
United States and
China have a broad
and deep trade relationship, and we continue to work together closely
on a bilateral and multilateral basis to resolve any problems that may
arise," said the US.
occasion, both the US and China have had recourse to dispute settlement
under the DSU, as the WTO Agreement contemplates, said the US, expressing
confidence that the dispute can be resolved through the WTO dispute
we see no reason that this or any other dispute should have repercussions
on any other trade matters between the United
States and China," said the US. +
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