Chairwoman Stabenow Applauds USTR Move to Hold China Accountable for Imposing Unfair Duties against American Chicken Products

Stabenow Says Effort Could Protect Up to 300,000 American Jobs

Washington, DC – Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, today applauded the U.S. Trade Representative’s filing of a case before the World Trade Organization against China for imposing unfair duties on American chicken products – a move that Stabenow said could protect up to 300,000 American jobs. The filing is the latest in a series of enforcement steps the U.S. has taken to hold China accountable for reneging on its WTO commitments.

“China has repeatedly broken its commitments as a fair trading partner under international trade rules,” Chairwoman Stabenow said. “These unfair practices have serious and devastating implications for the U.S. economy and American agriculture. I applaud the U.S. Trade Representative for pursuing action against China’s latest illegal violations, and urge aggressive follow-through to ensure that American agriculture – which is 16 million jobs strong – continues growing, creating jobs and boosting the U.S. economy.”

According to the U.S. 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 antidumping and countervailing duties against imports of U.S. chicken “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 U.S. 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 tons of broiler products exported in 2009.  Since the duties have come into force, U.S. exports to China are down 90 percent.  According to industry sources, if these duties are not lifted, the U.S. poultry industry will have lost approximately $1 billion in sales to China by the end of this year alone.