The United States claims that China violated international trade rules when it imposed tariffs on about $1 billion of U.S. chicken exports. In a complaint filed with the World Trade Organization, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk says the tariffs threaten 300,000 jobs in the U.S. poultry industry. The tariffs ranged from 50% to 100%, a U.S. trade official said.

China has defended its position, stating that its tariffs are legal, Reuters reports. "China believes its anti-dumping and countervailing measures on U.S. chicken products are legal and in line with World Trade Organization rules, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

Beijing has accused U.S. companies of selling chicken in China at below market prices and of receiving government subsidies.

Source: Reuters, Associated Press