Washington: Expressing jubilation over its WTO victory on China over poultry issue, the Barack Obama Administration has sent a strong message to developing countries like India, saying the US will fight for its farmers' businesses and workers in the global trading system.
The remark came after the US scored an important victory on Friday for American farmers on the issue of fair play in international trade in a World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute against China's use of its trade laws to block exports of US chicken products into Chinese market.
"This decision sends a clear message that the Obama administration will fight and win for American farmers, businesses, and workers in the global trading system.
"It will ensure that America gets the benefit of the rules and market access we've negotiated in our International Trade Agreements," US Trade Representative, Mike Froman, told reporters here yesterday.
The press conference was jointly addressed by Froman, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, after a WTO dispute settlement panel ruled that China breached numerous procedural and substantive WTO obligations when it imposed these high duties.
"For years, we've been concerned about other countries rejecting costs based on US producers' books and records and instead using the weight of a product to allocate production costs.
"This methodology artificially inflates and creates anti-dumping margins. China had adopted this flawed approach, and the WTO panel found that China breached WTO rules. This is a significant win for American chicken producers," Froman said.
"I also hope that these WTO reports build momentum to help end the behaviours that have required us and other trading partners to bring these kinds of cases," he said.
Pritzker said the Commerce Department will continue to support America's entrepreneurs and businesses as they compete in the global economy and create good jobs here at home.
"At the Commerce Department, we work hard to ensure that the US abides by our WTO obligations and that our investigations are transparent and procedurally fair to all parties. We expect the same treatment for US farms involved in foreign trade remedy investigations," she said.
"The decision of the WTO affirms the basic principle of the need for a fair and equitable market. We lost nearly 80 per cent of the market in China that we had enjoyed, as a result of the imposition of unfair and unwarranted duties. Today, that gets rectified," Vilsack said.
In a separate statement, Senator Thad Cochran applauded a WTO ruling against unfair duties levied by China on US poultry exports.
"I expect this World Trade Organization ruling to result in fairer treatment of US poultry products that are offered to the world," said Cochran, ranking Republican on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee.
"The ruling is good news for an American industry that has been buffeted by a slow-growth economy, high feed prices and other factors. I hope this ruling will help build the poultry industry in the United States and in Mississippi in particular," he said.
"This is a great victory for American agriculture and shows the importance of enforcing trade rules," said Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
"Agriculture exports are critical to our economy, which is why we must continue holding countries like China accountable for their illegal trade practices. When other countries cheat on trade rules, we need to act swiftly to get justice before the World Trade Organization to protect American businesses and workers," she said.
First Published: Saturday, August 3, 2013, 14:42