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India loses poultry case against United States at WTO

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India imposed a ban on the import of poultry meats, egg and live pig from USA because of concerns related to bird flu in 2007. This ban was imposed as a precautionary measure to prevent spread of Avian Influenza.

In 2012, USA filed a complaint against India at WTO. A panel was constituted to look into the matter. The panel found that India’s measures were not based on international standards and were discriminatory.

India went to the Dispute Settlement Board of the WTO to challenge the panel’s decision. The appellate body upheld the panel’s findings that India’s measures were inappropriate and were not based on international standards.

India lost the case and has 12-16 months for implementation of this ruling. Now, because of this ruling, USA will be able to export their poultry products to Indian market without any trade barriers. This will help US farmers and poultry industry to supply their products to Indian broiler meat consumers which has increased to 3.72 million tonnes in 2014 from 3.45 million tonnes in 2013.

India claimed that the panel committed legal errors in its interpretation. According to the WTO norms, affected parties are allowed to dispute panel’s ruling on the points of law. However, the dispute settlement process can’t re-open factual findings made by the panel.

About World Trade Organisation

  • It is an intergovernmental organisation which governs international trade.
  • Formed on 1st January 1995.
  • Headquarters is in Geneva,Switzerland.
  • Director-general is Roberto Azevedo.
  • Provides forum for negotiations and settling of disputes