China wins the United States in WTO case

The World Trade Organization (WTO) issued a report of the panel on Wednesday, supporting China over its complaint against measures taken by the United States which have affected imports of poultry from China, reported China Daily.

The panel ruled that Section 727, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, applied by the US had effectively prohibited the lifting of the ban on poultry imports from China, and inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement).

A Chicken Factory in China

In April 2009, China lodged an appeal with the WTO against Section 727 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, included in US laws from March 2009. China argued that the Section 727 runs against rules of the global trade arbitrator and consequently the WTO set up a dispute settlement panel in July 2009.

Under the Section 727, the United States effectively prohibits the establishment or implementation of any measures that would allow poultry products to be imported from China.

The WTO panel concluded that the United States trade regime has not acted in accord with the specified provisions of the SPS Agreement and the GATT 1994, and has “nullified or impaired benefits accruing to China under those agreements.”

In 2004, China and the United States stopped importing poultry products from each other for fear of the bird flu. China had called off the ban on poultry import from the United States when the situation was relieved.

Access of Chinese poultry to the US market is still blocked, because of the application of Section 727 passed by the US congress, which restricted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and its agency, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) from using funds allocated by the US Congress to create a rule to lift the poultry ban on China.

At the request of China, a panel was established by the WTO on 23 September 2009 to investigate the case.

China exported poultry products worth $870 million or 291,272 tons, in 2009, compared with $860 million in 2008. It imported 799,600 tons of chicken products globally in 2008.

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