In a setback to India’s argument and a move that may now allow the imports of products such as eggs and other poultry products from the US, the Appellate Body of World Trade Organisation (WTO) on Thursday ruled against India’s ban on these products.
India will have 12-18 months to implement this ruling, after which the US can begin exports of poultry products to India.
India ordered a ban on these imports as a measure to protect against avian influenza (bird flu).
“I welcome this win, which will help us eliminate unjustified trade barriers, so US farmers can sell high-quality American agricultural products to customers around the world,” US trade representative Michael Froman said in a statement.
“This decision affirms the importance of basing agricultural trade requirements on sound science,” US secretary of agriculture Tom Vilsack said. “This is a major win for US agriculture and, in particular, the poultry industry,” the statement added.
“The WTO panel and appellate body overwhelmingly agreed with US’ claims that, for example, India’s ban is not based on international standards or a risk assessment. India’s measures are more trade restrictive than necessary because it is safe to import US products meeting international standards,” the statement added.