Washington: The US has knocked the World Trade Organisation (WTO), seeking a dispute settlement mechanism over China's imposition of duties on chicken product imports from the US.

US Trade Representative Ron Kirk said the US is requesting WTO to establish a dispute settlement panel to address the question of China's imposition of "anti-dumping duties" and "countervailing duties" on imports of chicken "broiler products" from the US.

China imposed import duties in August and September 2010, claiming that US broiler products were subsidised and sold at less than fair value (dumped) into the Chinese market.

Prior to the imposition of these duties, the US was the largest exporter of broiler products to China. But ever since, US exports have fallen by nearly 90 percent, Kirk said.

"The United States will not stand idly by while China appears to have misused its trade remedy laws and put American jobs at risk," Kirk said in a statement.

"We are serious about holding China accountable to its WTO commitments and ensuring that there is a level playing field for American businesses – including our farmers," he said.

USTR said although WTO rules permit China to impose duties on imports of merchandise that are subsidised or dumped – provided those imports cause injury to the domestic industry – they also require WTO members to follow specific procedures and apply defined legal standards when conducting the investigations that determine whether duties are warranted.

The US panel request alleges that Chinese authorities failed to abide by applicable procedures and legal standards, including by finding injury to China's domestic industry without objectively examining the evidence, by improperly calculating dumping margins and subsidisation rates, and by failing to adhere to various transparency and due process requirements, USTR said.

Requesting a panel is the next step in the WTO dispute settlement process after requesting consultations.

On September 20, this year, the US requested consultations with China regarding China's imposition of AD and CVD duties on chicken broiler products.

Consultations were held in Geneva on October 28, 2011, but were unable to resolve the dispute.

(Agencies)