India loses the chicken battle

India loses the chicken battle

5 Jun 2015 | By Siripriya

India loses the poultry dispute to US

United States came victorious in the ongoing poultry dispute with India.

The World Trade Organisation reprimanded India for breaking rules of international trade by deterring US egg and poultry imports due to unconfirmed bird flu scare.

The WTO Appellate Body upheld that India's import embargo was not adherent to the international scientific standards on animal health and were biased.


2007: India bans US poultry

In February 2007, India put a ban on imports of poultry products from the US, in order to protect an outbreak of the avian influenza.

However, America argued that the ban was not based on any scientific evidence in line with international standards on avian-influenza control.

US has blamed India for camouflaging trade restrictions by invoking unwarranted animal health concerns.

6 Mar 2012: US takes the poultry dispute to WTO

US takes the poultry dispute to WTO

On 6 March 2012, US authorities launched a case against the Indian poultry ban of 2007 at the World Trade Organisation.

If lifted, the poultry export will make $300m for the US annually.

The US trade representative Ron Kirk was hopeful that the WTO will rule in their favour against the "unjustified" ban.

Fact: US asks WTO to intervene the 5th time

This is the 5th time that the US has involved WTO in a case against India and a first under the Obama administration.

14 Oct 2014: WTO rules against the ban

On 14 October 2014, the WTO dispute body ruled in the favour of America in the 2007 poultry dispute.

WTO noted that US had not had an outbreak of the avian influenza since 2004, while India had seen about 90 such cases.

India had imposed no domestic bans on the industry which came across as discriminatory in the eyes of the WTO panel.

9 Dec 2014: India to appeal against WTO ruling

India to appeal against WTO ruling

India decided to challenge the WTO ruling of lifting the ban on cheap chicken legs and other farm imports from the US.

The Commerce Ministry, after discussions with the Animal Husbandry department established that there was enough reason to appeal against the WTO ruling.

There is mounting pressure on the Indian government from the poultry industry as lifting of the curb will hit farmers.

5 Jun 2015: India loses the poultry dispute to US

Fact: US poultry faces ban from 30 countries

India is not the only country to have placed an embargo on US poultry. A total of 30 countries banned the import of American poultry due to the avian influenza scare.

09 Jul 2016: US seeks trade sanctions in India poultry dispute

US seeks trade sanctions in India poultry dispute

America is seeking trade injunction against India after winning the dispute at the WTO regarding Indian ban on imports of US meat, poultry, eggs etc.

The WTO will convene a meeting with US on July 19 to start the call for compensation.

WTO's Appellate Body had adjudged in June 2015 that India's ban was discriminatory and based on uncorroborated concerns over bird flu.