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US poultry exports face China wall

The US has filed a complaint with the World Trade Organisation in Geneva over Chinese duties on US poultry that are up to 105.4% and have led to a dramatic fall in US poultry exports, according to the Shipping Gazette, citing a Bloomberg report.

This comes just after a WTO ruling favouring the US against China over the dumping of Chinese tyres on the American market. The Americans responded with duties on Chinese tyres for three years. Despite a Chinese appeal against this, the WTO appellate body up held the American decision earlier this month.

US poultry exports to China have declined 90% since China introduced anti-dumping and countervailing duties on chickens last year, according to the US Trade Commission, which claims the US poultry industry may lose up to US$1 billion in sales from China this year. Almost all chicken feet eaten in southern China come from the US, much of it as reefer cargo through the Port of Savannah.

A report in China Economic Review said the US was China's largest supplier of chicken-broiler products in 2009, shipping more 600,000 tons of the produce, and it remains a major supplier of pork.

The US and China are now expected to begin a lengthy consultation process, lasting at least two months. If the talks fail, the US can ask WTO judges to rule, Bloomberg said.

According to US Trade Representative Ron Kirk some 300,000 workers and farmers have been hurt by China's actions. He said the US is prepared to take every measure to ensure its trading partners do not misuse laws to prevent exports of US products. Source: Shipping Gazette