Denied poultry market access, US likely to drag India to WTO
Expressing "extraordinary frustration" over India denying market access to the American poultry, US is gearing to drag it to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), with top lawmakers pressing the Obama Administration to act fast against New Delhi in this regard.
The indication in this regard came from a top trade official of the Obama Administration, who told lawmakers on Wednesday that the US has taken similar action with the Chinese in the past and dragging India to WTO is certainly an option on its table.
"We are extraordinarily frustrated with India's continued non-application of internationally recognised scientific standards. Our American poultry, it is safe. There is no reason for them to deny us access," the US Trade Representative Ron Kirk told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on Wednesday.
Despite that the US has raised this issue with Indian officials at the highest level, Kirk said the latter has not granted marker access to American poultry, noting that dragging India to the WTO on this issue is an option for the United States.
"At every opportunity we have engaged India including past trade policy forms. We would continue -- we have continued to press them. It is our practice though not to publicly state whether or when we will take legal action within the WTO," Kirk said.
He said that US has taken similar actions against China and other countries in the past.
"We would encourage the administration to move with this fast. This has been a long ongoing battle and one again for which there's no scientific evidence," said Congressman Price from Georgia.
Sharing his experience from Georgia, Price said that his state is increasingly getting frustrated with India on this issue.
"In Georgia, we're increasingly concerned and remarkably frustrated by India's decision to deny access to US poultry into their Indian market, a market with really great potential," he said.
"Although they use a variety of excuses and trade barriers to prohibit the importation of US poultry, but one that they keep coming back to is a concern about viral disease, avian influenza and although it sounds foreboding, there's no scientific basis for their concern," he said.
The senator added that the use of such non-scientifically based measures to prevent trade is clearly inconsistent with the WTO.