WTO Sides With U.S. In Poultry Dispute With China

The World Trade Organization has ruled in favor of the U.S. in a long-standing trade dispute over allegations China unfairly imposed anti-dumping tariffs that restricted American poultry exports. China could appeal the WTO decision.

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The U.S. has won a World Trade Organization decision on exporting chicken to China.

Harvest Public Media's Abbie Fentress Swanson reports on this latest volley in the export battle.

ABBIE FENTRESS SWANSON, BYLINE: Three years ago, China imposed tariffs on certain imported American chicken products - including chicken feet, which are considered a delicacy in China - because they were allegedly being sold for unfairly low prices. Following the tariffs, U.S. chicken exports to China declined by an estimated 80 percent.

But a new World Trade Organization decision has found that through enacting these tariffs China violated international trade rules. The decision is welcome news to poultry processors, says Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman.

WORTH SPARKMAN PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER, TYSON FOODS: It supports our view that these duties on chicken exports to China aren't justified.

SWANSON: Jim Sumner of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council says the ruling is monumental for the industry.

JIM SUMNER: This will lift that barrier and allow the U.S. chicken industry to once again access the largest market in the world.

SWANSON: China could appeal the WTO decision.

Last year, the Word Trade Organization ruled that China was unfairly imposing tariffs on certain steel products imported from the U.S. A decision on a trade spat between the two countries over automobile exports is pending.

For NPR News, I'm Abbie Fentress Swanson in Columbia, Missouri.

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