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China challenging US poultry ban

The Chinese government has plans to file a World Trade Organisation case in which it will challenge the US ban on Chinese poultry imports. Reports state China is criticising the measure as protectionist.

Following outbreaks of avian influenza in 2004, both the US and China banned poultry imports from each other. China later agreed to lift its ban on US poultry, but complains that the US has not done the same.

The US measure is "discriminatory and protectionist" said Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian in a statment. It asked Washington to remove a measure in a 2009 Senate spending bill that it said extends the ban. China has since created a quality-control system for its poultry producers in line with international standards, said Yao, adding that China currently exports poultry to the EU, Japan and Switzerland.

Since 2004, China has imported over 4 mln t of US poultry products.

Natalie Berkhout

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