October 8, 2009 — U.S. poultry companies and organizations applaud the action today by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that the United States will formally institute proceedings before the World Trade Organization (WTO) challenging a major European Union (EU) restriction on U.S. poultry.
The EU has deprived U.S. poultry firms a fair opportunity to compete in that market for the past 12 years by imposing protectionist and unjustified non-tariff trade barriers on U.S. poultry. At issue in this case is the use by U.S. poultry processors of four commonly-employed and beneficial antimicrobials, which the European Union’s own scientific committees have reviewed and have determined to be safe. These are chlorine dioxide, trisodium phosphate, acidified sodium chlorite, and peracetic acid. Despite the advice and recommendations of its own scientific committees, the EU has continued to maintain a ban on U.S. poultry imports. The United States considers the EU ban on U.S. poultry to violate several provisions of WTO law, including provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, and the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
The U.S. poultry industry appreciates the strong leadership of U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk and his staff in moving forward with WTO to dispute settlement in this case. Ambassador Kirk has previously indicated that the Obama Administration would pursue a policy of more stringent enforcement of existing international agreements, and the initiation of this case demonstrates Ambassador Kirk’s commitment to that policy. In pursuing this case, USTR will have the strong and enthusiastic support of the undersigned organizations and the members they represent.
We look forward to a timely and appropriate determination from the panel.
National Chicken Council
USA Poultry & Egg Export Council
Stone Mountain, GA
National Turkey Federation