WTO against US poultry ban

09:46, June 17, 2010      

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China appears to have notched up a victory in a dispute against the United States over the latter's ban on poultry imports, according to an interim report by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

"We think the US will not try to impose a similar ban in the next fiscal year, since it would be regarded as open defiance of the latest WTO ruling," a Ministry of Commerce official, who declined to be named, told China Daily on Wednesday, adding that Beijing had received the WTO report.

Another ministry official, Cheng Yongru, said China should take a firmer stance on import restrictions and technical barriers.

"Most of the actions China has taken involve anti-dumping and countervailing cases. It should get tougher on import restrictions and technical barriers to trade," Cheng, a division director of the bureau of fair trade for imports and exports, told China Daily.

The WTO interim ruling said the US import ban on China's poultry violates Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures, or the SPS Agreement - which spells out how governments can apply food safety and animal and plant health measures - as well as most-favored-nation (MFN) treatment and general elimination of quantitative restrictions under the WTO legal framework.

The US move is not in line with the principles of the MFN treatment since the ban only targeted China, according to Zhang Liying, a professor of international law at China University of Political Science and Law.

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