Thursday, March 8, 2012

U.S poultry - Access to India's markets

A caged hen feeds at an egg farm in San Diego County in this picture taken July 29, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files
(Credit: Reuters, Mike Blake)
The WTO website reported that the US had requested for consultation on India's ban on agricultural imports from the United States. Reuters reported about the challenge here.

A more detailed explanation of the step is found here in the USTR website.
"United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced today that the U.S. Government is requesting consultations with the Government of India under the dispute settlement provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning India’s prohibition on certain American agricultural exports, including poultry meat and chicken eggs. India claims that this trade ban is aimed at preventing avian influenza, but it has not provided scientific evidence in line with international standards on avian-influenza control.

“Last week President Obama created the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center, demonstrating that the United States simply will not stand by while our trading partners unfairly disadvantage American farmers, workers and businesses,” said Ambassador Kirk. “As we have shown through the creation of this new unit, and the Obama Administration’s strong record of enforcing trade agreements and WTO commitments, we will continue to insist that all of our trading partners around the world play by the rules and uphold their WTO obligations.”

“India’s ban on U.S. poultry is clearly a case of disguising trade restrictions by invoking unjustified animal health concerns. The United States is the world’s leader in agricultural safety and we are confident that the WTO will confirm that India’s ban is unjustified. Opening India’s market to American farmers will promote jobs here at home, while also providing Indian consumers with access to high quality, safe U.S. products.”
Is this an election year strategy in the U.S to indicate the seriousness of pursuing one's trade interests to protect one's jobs and domestic industry? Have not seen any official Indian reaction yet on the issue. Will the dispute go the whole hog?

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