The Office of the U.S. Trade Representatives (USTR) is requesting public comments on the U.S. government’s action of March 6 that requested consultations with the Government of India under the “Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (WTO)” concerning anti-dumping prohibitions imposed by India on the importation of various agricultural products from the United States purportedly because of concerns related to Avian Influenza.

India’ prohibition of the import of agricultural products from the United States including the following:

(a) domestic and wild birds (including poultry and captive birds); (b) day-old chicks, ducks, turkey, and other newly hatched avian species; (c) unprocessed meat and meat products from Avian species, including domesticated, wild birds, and poultry; (d) hatching eggs; (e) eggs and egg products (except specific pathogen-free eggs); (f) unprocessed feathers; (g) live pigs; (h) pathological material and biological products from birds; (i) products of animal origin (from birds) intended for use in animal feeding or for agricultural or industrial use; and (j) semen of domestic and wild birds, including poultry.

USTR said comments should be submitted electronically at, under document number USTR-2012-0004 by April 19.  India has 60 days from the date of notification for consultation to find a satisfactory solution and avoid proceeding to the WTO dispute settlement panel process.

For years, India has used a variety of tariff and non-tariff barriers to deny access of U.S. poultry to the Indian market, the National Chicken Council, U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, and National Turkey Federation said in the joint March 6 statement.

“Although international health standards, in particular those of the World Organization for Animal Health, identify only highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza as warranting trade restrictions, India has long ignored those international norms and has banned poultry imports from the United States or any country that reports any incident of avian influenza, even cases of low pathogenicity.   This is a protectionist policy in nature and is inconsistent with accepted international standards and has no health or safety justification.  This policy is particularly problematic in the case of the United States, which is the most efficient poultry producer in the world and the world’s leading exporter of poultry products,”  NCC, USPOULTRY, and NTF said in its joint statement.