India Appeals WTO Ruling on U.S. Poultry
On January 26, 2015, the Republic Day of nation wher US president Barak Obama was Chief Guest, India notified the Dispute Settlement Board (DSB) of the WTO of its decision to appeal the WTO ruling that India’s ban on imports of various U.S. agricultural products, including poultry and eggs, breached numerous international trade rules.
Parties to a dispute can appeal a panel's ruling. Appeals have to be based on points of law, such as legal interpretation — they cannot reopen factual findings made by the panel. Each appeal is heard by three members of a permanent seven-member Appellate Body comprising persons of recognized authority and unaffiliated with any government. The Appellate Body membership broadly represents the geographic range of WTO membership, with each member appointed for a fixed term. Generally, the Appellate Body has up to 3 months to conclude its report.
In March 2012, the U.S. requested consultations with India with respect to the prohibitions imposed by India on the importation of various agricultural products from the United States purportedly because of concerns related to Avian Influenza.
In October 2014, a WTO dispute settlement panel (DSP) found in favor of the United States; the panel agreed with the United States that India’s ban breached numerous international trade rules, including because it was imposed without sufficient scientific evidence. India banned imports of various agricultural products from the U.S. in 2007.
On 6 November 2014, India and the United States requested a draft decision extending the 60-day time period to 26 January 2015. At its meeting on 18 November 2014, the DSB agreed that, upon a request by India or the United States, the DSB, shall no later than 26 January 2015, adopt the panel report, unless the DSB decides by consensus not to do so or India or the United States notifies the DSB of its decision to appeal pursuant to Article 16.4 of the DSU. If the report is appealed, WTO rules provide that the WTO Appellate Body must issue its report within 90 days of the filing of the appeal.