India and US Resolve Last Outstanding WTO Trade Dispute on Poultry Imports

  • 12 Sep 2023

Recently, against the backdrop of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India and the US have recently reached an agreement to settle their final lingering trade dispute lodged with the World Trade Organization (WTO), concerning India's restrictions on poultry imports due to avian influenza.

Key Points

  • Resolution and Tariff Reduction: As part of this agreement, India has also committed to reducing import tariffs on specific American products, including frozen turkey, frozen duck, fresh blueberries and cranberries, frozen blueberries and cranberries, dried blueberries and cranberries, and processed blueberries and cranberries.
  • Significance of Resolution: The tariff reductions on certain US products enhance market access for American agricultural producers.
  • Background on the Dispute: Since 2001, India has intermittently imposed restrictions on poultry imports due to avian influenza concerns.
  • The dispute between the US and India dates back to the US request for consultations with India in 2012, followed by the establishment of a WTO dispute resolution panel in 2013.
  • US's Allegations and India's Defense: The US contended that India's actions violated numerous articles in the SPS Agreement and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), including those related to scientific principles, discrimination, trade restrictions, risk assessment, and transparency.
  • India argued that its measures conformed to international standards, particularly the OIE Terrestrial Code.
  • WTO Panel's Findings and Appeal: The WTO dispute resolution panel ultimately found India's measures inconsistent with multiple provisions of the SPS Agreement and GATT.
  • India appealed the decision, but the appellate body upheld the panel's findings in June 2015.