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Ripe wheat Iakov-Kalinin/Thinkstock

U.S. challenges Indian market support for wheat and rice

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer says trading partners must live up to their WTO commitments.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue have submitted the first-ever World Trade Organization Committee on Agriculture notification under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture regarding another country’s measures.

The counter notification was submitted on India’s market price support for wheat and rice. It was filed May 4, 2018. 

“The United States expects our trading partners to comply with the reporting requirements they agreed to when joining the WTO,” Lighthizer said. “Accurate reporting and improved transparency of these programs is an important step in ensuring that our trading partners are living up to their WTO commitments and helps achieve more market-based outcomes through the multilateral trading system.”

“India represents a massive market, and we want greater access for U.S. products, but India must be transparent about their practices,” Agriculture Secretary Perdue said. “For trade to be free and fair, all parties must abide by their WTO commitments.” 

Based on U.S. calculations, it appears that India has substantially underreported its market price support for wheat and rice.  When calculated according to WTO Agreement on Agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for wheat and rice far exceeded its allowable levels of trade distorting domestic support. The United States expects a robust discussion on how India implements and notifies its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for June 2018.

Source: USDA

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