May 27, 2016 / 8:27 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. seeks WTO dispute panel in chicken dispute with China

The World Trade Organization WTO logo is seen at the entrance of the WTO headquarters in Geneva in this April 9, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Friday asked the World Trade Organization to establish a dispute settlement panel to rule on U.S. claims that China is unfairly continuing anti-dumping duties on U.S. broiler chicken products.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement it made the request after consultations with Chinese officials on May 24 failed to resolve the dispute over the duties.

China first imposed the duties on chicken imports from the United States in 2010 on grounds they were priced below fair market value and this was injuring Chinese producers.

China revised the duties lower in 2014 after the WTO agreed with U.S. objections that the original duties violated WTO rules.

USTR on May 10 brought a new challenge to China’s revised anti-dumping duties, arguing they violate WTO rules partly because China failed to properly calculate U.S. poultry production costs and failed to conduct transparent investigations.

The U.S. Agriculture Department estimated U.S. poultry producers lost over $1 billion (£683 million) since the duties were first imposed, with annual U.S. chicken exports to China down over 90 percent from 2009 levels.

China currently levies anti-dumping duties up to 73.3 percent and anti-subsidy taxes up to 4.2 percent on U.S. firms including Tyson Foods (TSN.N) and Pilgrim’s Pride PPC.N.

Reporting By David Lawder; Editing by Andrew Hay

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