WASHINGTON, March 6, 2012–Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack issued the following statement after U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk announced that the U.S. Government is requesting consultations with the Government of India under the dispute settlement provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) concerning India’s prohibition on certain American agricultural exports, including poultry meat and chicken eggs.
“Over the last few years, the United States has repeatedly asked India to justify its claim that a ban on poultry products from the United States is necessary. However, to date, India has not provided valid, scientifically-based justification for the import restrictions.
“Today’s announcement by Ambassador Kirk that the U.S. Government is seeking consultations with India under the dispute settlement provisions of the WTO demonstrates that the United States will help ensure that all of our trading partners play by the rules and uphold their WTO obligations.
“I am hopeful for a swift resolution that allows Indian consumers access to safe, high-quality U.S. poultry and poultry products, and restores the economic opportunities our American farmers have earned.”