U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman announced Tuesday alongside USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack the U.S. won a major victory at the World Trade Organization. A WTO dispute panel found in favor of the United States regarding a dispute challenging India’s ban on U.S. agricultural products. The ban was allegedy to protect against avian influenza by banning poultry meat, eggs and live pigs. The WTO panel agreed with the U.S that the ban breached international trade rules. Trade Representative Froman said “this is a major victory for American farmers.” Secretary Vilsack stated “our farmers and producers deserve a level playing field – and this dispute reflects that we will accept nothing less.” The WTO panel agreed with the U.S. that the ban lacked scientific basis. This marks the fourth WTO victory for the U.S. this year. For more than seven years, India had claimed the ban on select U.S. products was needed to prevent entry of avian influenza into India. The United States, however, has not had an outbreak of high pathogenic avian influenza since 2004, while during that same interval India has had over 90 HPAI outbreaks. The industry estimates that U.S. exports to India of just poultry meat alone could easily exceed $300 million a year once India’s restrictions are removed.
Previous WTO victories this year included: In June, the WTO found that China breached WTO rules by imposing unjustified extra duties on American cars and SUVs. In August, the WTO found that China breached WTO rules by imposing duties and quotas on exports of rare earth metals. Also in August, a WTO panel agreed with the United States that Argentina’s import licensing requirement and other import restrictions breach international trade rules.
Source: NAFB News Service