The US has gone to the WTO over Chinese import duties on chicken

The US has gone to the WTO over Chinese import duties on chicken

The US government has started proceedings against China in a row over import duties on chicken.

United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced yesterday (20 September) that the US has filed a case before the World Trade Organization (WTO) against China's imposition of duties on imports of US chicken products.

Kirk said the move is to protect jobs in the US poultry processing sector, which directly employs 300,000 workers. He claimed China is misusing laws to prevent exports of US products.

He said: “To be clear, the United States does not arbitrarily seek disagreements with China. However, we will not stand still if we believe that China has violated its commitments as a WTO member and is therefore threatening American jobs – in this case hundreds of thousands of American poultry industry jobs."

A statement on China's Ministry of Commerce website said the duties on US poultry are "in line" with rules by the WTO. It said China would "carefully study" any request from the US.

Before the imposition of the duties, the US was China's largest supplier of chicken broiler products with over 600,000 metric tons exported in 2009, Kirk said.