Press Statement by United States Trade Representative Michael Froman Regarding Today’s World Trade Organization Enforcement Victory
*As prepared for delivery*
“The United States has scored an important victory today for America’s farmers and for fair play in international trade. We prevailed in a World Trade Organization dispute against China’s use of its trade laws to block exports of U.S. chicken products into China’s market.
“China’s high anti-dumping and countervailing duties on imports of chicken “broiler products” from the United States have been denying American chicken producers access to what was formerly a very valuable market. Significant sales have been lost since these duties were put in place.
“But this decision sends a clear message that the Obama Administration can fight and win for American farmers, businesses, and workers in the global trading system. And we will ensure that America gets the benefit of the rules and market access we have negotiated in our international trade agreements.
“In a report just released this morning, a WTO dispute settlement panel found that China breached numerous procedural and substantive WTO obligations when it imposed these high duties.
“Let me highlight just one of those important substantive wins. For years, we have been concerned about other countries rejecting costs based on U.S. producers’ books and records and instead using the weight of a product to allocate production costs. This methodology artificially inflates or creates dumping margins. China had adopted this flawed approach, and the WTO panel found that China breached WTO rules. This is a significant win for American chicken producers.
“I want to underscore the significance of this decision, in part because we have seen similar market distorting errors committed by China before in its use of trade remedies.
“In fact, this is the second of three recent WTO disputes in which the United States has challenged important flaws in China’s administration of its antidumping and countervailing duty measures. We have won the first two disputes, and we are actively litigating the third, which raises many of the same serious concerns.
“It is critical to use these trade remedies strictly in accordance with WTO obligations, and not to use them unfairly to hit back at WTO Members that have taken legitimate actions under their own trade remedy laws.
“We will continue to act assertively when we see signs that WTO rules are being undermined, and our exporters may be hurt.
“I also hope that these WTO reports build momentum to help end the behaviors that have required us and other trading partners to bring these kinds of cases.
“In this case, USTR has worked in close partnership with USDA and with the Department of Commerce, which administrates many of our trade remedy laws, to respond to the troubling trade remedies practices we have seen. Their participation was critical to winning this case for America’s chicken farmers. This is a good example of our whole-of-government approach to opening markets and enforcing our trade laws.”