BEIJING (AP) -- China said Wednesday it will file a World Trade Organization case challenging a U.S. ban on Chinese poultry imports, criticizing the measure as protectionist.
The United States and China banned imports of each other's poultry in 2004 following outbreaks of bird flu. China agreed in September to lift its controls and complained that the United States has failed to do the same.
The U.S. measure is "discriminatory and protectionist," Commerce Ministry spokesman Yao Jian said in a statement on the ministry's Web site. It called on Washington to remove a measure in a 2009 U.S. Senate spending bill that it said extends the ban.
The U.S. Embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Yao said China has created a quality control system for its poultry producers in line with international standards. He said China exports poultry to the European Union, Japan and Switzerland.
China has imported more than 4 million tons of U.S. poultry products since 2004, including 580,000 tons of chicken products last year, according to the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily.
The announcement comes as Beijing tries to boost exports amid a global slowdown that has seen Chinese trade fall for the past four months.