Washington: A senior US senator has welcomed the World Trade Organisation (WTO)'s ruling against India's ‘unfounded' ban on American poultry products, saying the decision is an important step in ensuring a ‘level playing field' for the country's agriculture.
US Senator Ben Cardin from Maryland, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee, said ensuring that American poultry producers have complete access to the global food market is ‘incredibly important' to sustaining the important industry.
"...The latest ruling from the WTO strikes down an unfounded ban on US poultry an important step in ensuring a level playing field for domestic agriculture," he said.
In a setback to India, the WTO has ruled in favour of the US in a dispute over India's ban on various US agricultural products, including poultry meat, saying the Avian influenza restrictions imposed by New Delhi were imposed without sufficient scientific evidence.
"This is a major victory for American farmers. The WTO panel agreed with the US case that India lacks any scientific basis to restrict US agricultural products, including US poultry products," US Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a statement.
He said that American farmers produce the "finest and safest" agricultural products in the world.
A WTO dispute settlement panel ruled in favour of the US in a dispute challenging India's ban on various American agricultural products? such as poultry meat, eggs, and live pigs? allegedly to protect against avian influenza.
The panel agreed with the United States that India's ‘ban breached numerous international trade rules, including because it was imposed without sufficient scientific evidence'.
The US initiated the dispute by requesting consultations with India in March 2012.
After consultations proved unsuccessful in resolving US concerns, the WTO established a panel at the US request to hear its claims that India's avian influenza restrictions are inconsistent with India's WTO obligations.