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WTO rules in favour of China in poultry battle

The World Trade Organization has ruled against the United States declaring the US restrictions on Chinese poultry imports illegal.

During an arbitration panel, which typically call on offending parties to lift illegal measures, the panel said that it would not make any recommendation as the disputed US restrictions have since expired.

China welcomes ruling
It marked the second time that the WTO has ruled on a case brought by Beijing, which is usually the target of disputes rather than a plaintiff. China welcomed the ruling, stressing that "Chinese poultry products are safe.

"China hopes that the US will ... take steps to completely remove all discriminatory measures targeted against Chinese poultry," it said in a statement.

China called on Washington to carry out fair assessments on Chinese poultry products and to quickly allow both countries' poultry trade to resume.

Bird flu
China and the United States halted imports of each other's poultry in 2004 over fears about the spread of bird flu.

Beijing brought the case to the WTO in 2009, accusing Washington of breaching international trade rules with several measures, including an appropriations bill which results in an effective ban on Chinese poultry imports.

Imports of some US poultry products to China have since resumed but Chinese officials have complained that the United States continues to hold up reciprocal imports of Chinese poultry.

Anti-dumping duties
The WTO's ruling came just days after China said it would levy anti-dumping duties of up to 105% on US chicken imports. China said Sunday it will slap anti-dumping levies of over 50% on up to 35 US chicken broiler exporters including Tyson Foods, Keystone Foods, Pilgrim's Pride Corporation and Sanderson Farms.

Levies of over 105% would hit imported broilers, a type of chicken raised specifically for meat production, from all other US producers, it said.

Editor WorldPoultry

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