Friday, 27 March 2009

The chicken war continues

Statement by Dr. ZHANG Xiangchen (Minister and DPR of China to the
WTO) on the US Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2009
Tuesday,March 17,2009 Posted: 18:16 BJT(16 GMT)

March 12, 2009

Mme. Chair,
I come to this meeting with a specific instruction from Beijing to
make an intervention under this item and express the serious concern
of the Chinese government about of the US Omnibus Appropriation Act of
On March 10th, the US Senate approved this Act with a section 727,
which constitutes a clearly discriminative measure against imports of
poultry from China. This section reads: "none of the funds made
available in this Act may be used to establish or implement a rule
allowing poultry products to be imported into the United States from
the People's Republic of China."

Mme. Chair, I know that everyone in this room is expert of WTO rules
and it is needless to explain why such discriminative measure is
forbidden by the WTO. Perhaps we could send to the Institute of
Training and Technical Cooperation of the WTO Secretariat a copy of
this section, which would serve as a perfect example for their
training courses. I believe that any trainee with a preliminary
knowledge of the WTO disciplines will tell that this section violates
the basic rules of the WTO including the MFN. We strongly disagree
with the US view that this section is in conformity with the WTO SPS
Agreement since we believe that the issue here is irrelevant with the
SPS Agreement.

Actually this section is not new. There was a section 733 of the same
language in the US Omnibus Appropriation Act of 2008. On that section,
China has been repeatedly expressing our serious concern with the US
both bilaterally and multilaterally. Most recently at the US Trade
Policy Review of June 2008, the US answered that "Section 733 is set
to expire at the end of fiscal year." We took that answer with
goodwill and believed that, with the expiry of the section 733, such
discriminative practice would come to its end. However, the only
result is that we have a section 727 of the same language and the same
discriminative nature.
Mme. Chair, The questions I would ask my US colleagues, colleagues of
other Missions and the Secretariat are: What should we, China and the
US, do to avoid the reappearance of another section 7xx next year?
What should we, all Members, do to prevent such discriminative
practice from undermining the multilateral trading system and sending
wrong signal to the outside world at this critical juncture of global
How should we live up to our commitments repeatedly make both here at
the WTO and at the G20 to resist trade protectionism?

Thank you, Mme. Chair.

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