U.S. challenges Indian poultry ban via WTO

March 7, 2012 9:04 am 

GENEVA, March 7 — The World Trade Organization (WTO) on Tuesday formally acknowledged that the United States has requested consultations with India under the dispute settlement system concerning the latter's import restrictions on U.S. poultry products.

Following WTO dispute settlement procedures, the two parties of the dispute will have 60 days from the day of request to discuss the matter and hopefully to find a mutually satisfactory solution.

However, if the consultations fail, the U.S. may request adjudication by a panel.

Since February of 2007, India has formally banned imports of various agricultural products, notably meat and chicken eggs from the United States, supposedly to prevent outbreaks of avian influenza in India.

Washington has long been accusing India of imposing the ban without providing scientific evidence in line with international standards on avian-influenza control.

"India's ban on U.S. poultry is clearly a case of disguising trade restrictions by invoking unjustified animal health concerns," said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk in Washington after bringing the case to the WTO.

He also expressed his confidence that "the WTO will confirm that India's ban is unjustified," saying "the United States is the world's leader in agricultural safety." (PNA/Xinhua)

LDV/ebp

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