(Corrects announcement date to Wednesday, not Tuesday, in first paragraph)
SHANGHAI, April 9 (Reuters) - China has launched litigation proceedings in the World Trade Organization (WTO) to resolve a dispute with the European Union over a poultry meat quota treaty, its trade ministry said late on Wednesday.
The dispute is focused on a quota assignment treaty that the EU signed with Brazil and Thailand in 2012, which allowed the two countries to export certain amounts of processed poultry meat into Europe. The treaty took effect in March 2013.
China believes the treaty violates WTO rules, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Sun Jiwen said, according to remarks posted on the ministry’s website.
The EU’s actions had hurt the interests of China’s poultry exporters and repeated efforts to negotiate with the EU had failed to resolve China’s concerns, Sun said.
He added that China hoped the dispute could be settled within the WTO’s mechanisms to protect domestic market players’ interests.
The litigation comes as Europe’s lawyers have warned that the bloc should not ignore changes to global trade rules set to favour Beijing, fuelling European fears that it will have to lower tariff defences against cheap Chinese imports. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates)