WTO sides with US farmers in dispute with India

AP News
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Posted: Oct 14, 2014 12:17 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Trade Organization ruled in favor of U.S. poultry and egg farmers Tuesday in a dispute with India.

United States Trade Representative Michael Froman said a WTO dispute settlement panel had ruled against Indian restrictions on U.S. imports of meat and eggs that were intended to prevent avian influenza from entering that country. The restrictions began in 2007.

The United States argued in a 2012 challenge that there was no scientific basis for the restrictions and that they were inconsistent with international guidelines. There has not been an outbreak of high-pathogenic avian influenza in the United States since 2004, officials said.

The panel found India had violated several trade rules in imposing the restrictions. India has not yet said whether it will appeal the ruling.

Froman and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the decision was a major victory for U.S. farmers.

"We look forward to opening up this market that has been closed for far too long," Vilsack said.

The poultry and egg industries estimate that trade with India could be worth $300 million annually if all of the restrictions are lifted.

"Indian consumers deserve access to affordable and safe protein, which the U.S. has the ability to provide," the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council and the National Chicken Council said in a joint statement.

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