USTR, USDA: US wins WTO case on China grain tariff rate quotas
-The Hagstorm Report
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced today that a World Trade Organization dispute settlement panel found that China has administered its tariff-rate quotas (TRQs) for wheat, corn, and rice inconsistently with its WTO commitments.
“Contrary to those commitments, China’s TRQ administration is not transparent, predictable, or fair, and it ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying U.S. farmers access to China’s market for grain,” USTR and USDA said in a joint statement.
“This panel report is the second significant victory for U.S. agriculture this year, and, together with the victory against China’s excessive domestic support for grains, will help American farmers compete on a more level playing field,” the agencies continued.
“China’s grain TRQs have annually underfilled. USDA estimates that if China’s TRQs had been fully used, it would have imported as much as $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice in 2015 alone,” the agencies said.
U.S. Wheat Associates and the National Association of Wheat Growers welcome the ruling and urged China to comply with it.
“With these decisions, we call on the Chinese government to come into compliance with the rules it accepted when it joined the WTO,” said USW President Vince Peterson.
“The world now sees that their policies stifle market-driven wheat trade, block export opportunities and force private sector buyers and consumers to pay more than they should for milling wheat and wheat-based foods. We appreciate that the Trump administration continues to shine a light on these distorting policies by supporting the WTO dispute cases.”
Both sides have the option of appealing the ruling, Washington Trade Daily noted today.