MEXICO CITY Mexico's economy ministry on Tuesday accused the United States of engaging in price dumping with its chicken exports, but said it would not be taking any action for now.
In a statement, the ministry said it had concluded that U.S. exporters were guilty of engaging in an "unfair" trade practice with its sales of chicken legs and thighs to Mexico. It did not provide additional details of its findings.
The ministry's foreign trade commission COCEX said it would not pursue retaliatory measures because of disruptions caused by a recent outbreak of bird flu in western Mexico.
Chicken prices have risen due to the bird flu outbreak and any decision to impose anti-dumping tariffs would require further action from the commission, the ministry said.
The major U.S. chicken exporters association disputed the Mexican government's assertion.
"We have maintained from the beginning that we are not dumping product," James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, told Reuters.
He added that it was "in the best interest of the United States and Mexico to avert any major trade disruptions."
In a separate trade dispute, the U.S. Commerce Department on Monday set preliminary anti-dumping duties on about $1 billion of washing machine imports from Mexico and South Korea.
(Reporting By Adriana Barrera and David Alire Garcia; Editing by Gary Hill)