BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Wednesday defended its duties on imports of U.S. poultry products as legal, after the United States said it would challenge the policies.
"China believes its anti-dumping and countervailing measures on U.S. chicken products are legal and in line with World Trade Organization rules, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website (www.mofcom.gov.cn).
The duties, which became final last year, are widely seen as retaliation for a U.S. congressional ban on imports of cooked chicken from China, as well as President Barack Obama's decision in September 2009 to slap an emergency 35 percent tariff on Chinese-made tires.
Beijing has accused U.S. companies of selling chicken in China at below market prices and of receiving government subsidies. But the United States said Chinese officials did not follow World Trade Organization rules in their dumping and subsidy investigations.
(Reporting by Michael Martina; Editing by Chris Lewis)