'China has repeatedly broken commitments as US trade partner'
Washington: China repeatedly violates international trade rules, an influential American lawmaker alleged on Tuesday, welcoming the US government decision to file a case at the WTO against Beijing's move to impose a tax on the import of American chicken products.
"China has repeatedly broken its commitments as a fair trading partner under international trade rules," Senator Debbie Stabenow, the Chairwoman of the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, said as she applauded the US Trade Representative for filing of a case before the World Trade Organisation against China for imposing unfair duties on US chicken products.
"These unfair practices have serious and devastating implications for the US economy and American agriculture," she said.
"I applaud the US Trade Representative for pursuing action against China's latest illegal violations and urge an aggressive follow-through to ensure that American agriculture -- which is 16 million jobs strong -- continues growing, creating jobs and boosting the US economy," the Senator said.
According to the US Trade Representative's office, the United States is requesting dispute settlement consultations -- the first step in a WTO dispute -- to challenge China's imposition of anti-dumping and countervailing duties against imports of US "broiler products", which are both chicken products that are not cut into pieces, as well as various cuts and pieces.
Through this case, the United States is addressing its concerns that China's duties are inconsistent with WTO rules.
Under WTO rules, parties that do not resolve a matter through consultations within 60 days may request the establishment of a WTO dispute settlement panel.
The US Trade Representative's office said that before the imposition of these duties, the United States was China's largest chicken broiler products supplier, with over 600,000 metric tonnes of broiler products exported in 2009.
Since the duties have come into force, US exports to China are down 90 percent.
According to industry sources, if these duties are not lifted, the US poultry industry will have lost approximately USD 1 billion in sales to China by the end of this year alone.