The US, on March 6, approached the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to get India to open its doors to American poultry imports.
The US has accused India of imposing unjustified trade restrictions, with reference to India's ban on American poultry meat and chicken egg imports, reports The Economic Times.
Broiler meat consumption in India this year will be about 2.75 million metric tons. Production in the sub-continent is forecast at 2.7 million metric tons, providing room for American imports, according to a Reuters article that quotes a US Agriculture Department report.
These accusations come in the wake of India’s bans on the import of several agricultural products from the US since 2007, on the grounds of preventing outbreaks of avian influenza in India. US authorities maintain that India has not given valid, scientifically proven justifications for the bans imposed by it, in spite of repeated requests from the US.
"India claims that this trade ban is aimed at preventing avian influenza, but it has not provided scientific evidence in line with international standards on avian-influenza control," stated Ron Kirk, a United States Trade Representative. "India's ban on US poultry is clearly a case of disguising trade restrictions by invoking unjustified animal health concerns," Kirk added.
"The United States is the world's leader in agricultural safety, and we are confident that the WTO will confirm that India's ban is unjustified," he quipped. Kirk stated that the lifting of these bans will give Indian consumers access to good quality agro products from the US, at the same time, creating more jobs for Americans.
The US is the largest broiler meat producer and the number two exporter worldwide. With the US Presidential elections scheduled for later this year, the country's stand on poultry exports to India could be the Obama's administrations way of reaching out to its semi-urban and rural voter base, the American farmer, reports a Mint article.