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Washington, D.C. – Today’s announcement by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) that the World Trade Organization has ruled against India in its ban on U.S. poultry imports is commended by the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and the National Chicken Council (NCC).

India placed a ban on U.S. poultry in 2007 under the guise of preventing low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI), but produced no scientific evidence to support the ban’s validity. In response, USTR initiated consultations in 2012, refuting India’s claims that LPAI will mutate into a highly pathogenic form of the virus.

“India’s ban was thinly veiled protectionism,” said USAPEEC President James Sumner and National Chicken Council President Michael Brown. “This ruling should send a signal to India and other countries that have placed similar bans on U.S. poultry that they are inconsistent with WTO rules and with guidelines established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

“Our industry believes that free and fair trade – particularly with food – should never be used as a political bargaining chip. Indian consumers deserve access to affordable and safe protein, which the U.S. has the ability to provide,” said Sumner and Brown. “We thank former USTR Ron Kirk for initiating the complaint against India, and (current) Ambassador Michael Froman for continuing to pursue the case for a favorable outcome.”

Today’s ruling does not give the U.S. automatic access to India’s market, which is estimated to be approximately 2.6 million metric tons of U.S. chicken annually, and is growing at a rate of 8 percent to 10 percent per year. “We recognize that work remains to open India’s market – but this ruling is an important step toward securing that objective. We hope that the new Indian administration will be amenable to working with the U.S. government and industry to remove all restrictions and allow access for U.S. poultry in the near future,” Sumner and Brown concluded.

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USAPEEC Contact: Toby Moore, 770-413-0006; tmoore@usapeec.org

NCC Contact: Tom Super, 202-443-4130; tsuper@chickenusa.org

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Address media inquiries to: Tom Super

Senior Vice President of Communications

tsuper@chickenusa.org 202-443-4130