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World Trade Organization: Panel Established in China-U.S. Poultry Dispute

(Aug. 6, 2009) On July 31, 2009, the World Trade Organization's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) set up a panel to consider a dispute between China and the United States over trade in Chinese poultry. (DS392, United States – Certain Measures Affecting Imports of Poultry from China, DSB website, July 31, 2009, available at http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news09_e/dsb_31jul09_e.htm.) China had requested the panel's establishment in response to U.S. legislation signed by President Barack Obama on March 11, 2009. The European Community, Guatemala, Korea, and Turkey reserved third-party rights. (Id.)

The U.S. Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 states that funds allocated in the law may not be used to establish or implement a rule to permit the import of poultry products from the People's Republic of China ((Pub. L. No. 111-8, 123 Stat. 524 (2009), §727, available at, http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_
cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ008.111
). China claims this provision is discriminatory, a position the United States disputes, arguing that nothing in the law prevents U.S. authorities from “working to reach an objective, science-based response to China's request for a declaration of equivalence with respect to poultry …” (DSB website, supra).