India loses case against US in WTO on poultry
Geneva/New Delhi (Oct 14, 2014): India on Tuesday lost a case in the WTO against the US on restrictions it had imposed on poultry imports from America with the dispute panel ruling that New Delhi's stand was inconsistent with international norms. India will have 60 days time to appeal against the decision of the WTO's dispute settlement panel, an official said, adding "the decision to move to the Appellate Body will be taken after consulting the Animal Husbandry Department".
Giving its ruling on a case filed by the US, the World Trade Organization's dispute panel said that restrictions imposed by India on imports of poultry from America were "inconsistent" with the international norms.
In March 2012, the US had dragged India to the WTO against India's ban on imports of certain American farm products, including poultry meat and eggs. India had banned imports of various agricultural products from the US in 2007, as a precautionary measure to prevent outbreaks of Avian Influenza in the country.
"India's Avian Influenza (AI) measures are inconsistent with (several articles)....of the SPS (sanitary and phyto-sanitary) Agreement because they are not based on the relevant international standard," the ruling said. India's measures, it added, are "arbitrarily and unjustifiably discriminate between Members where identical or similar conditions prevail and are applied in a manner which constitutes a disguised restriction on international trade." It also said that the measures are "significantly more trade-restrictive" than required to achieve India's appropriate level of protection with respect to the products and "therefore are also applied beyond the extent necessary to protect human and animal life or health".
A senior official of the Department of Animal Husbandry said: "we will study and review the ruling". The Poultry Federation of India Chairman J S Dhull said that the order would have a major impact on the domestic industry if the government does not take some other remedial measures like anti-dumping duty or increase in import duty.