US drags India to WTO; says it underreported market price support for wheat, rice
Washington :The US has dragged India to the World Trade Organisation, alleging that it has “substantially underreported” its market price support for wheat and rice.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a joint statement said the US had submitted a counter-notification in the WTO Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support (MPS) for wheat and rice.
Filed on May 4, this is the first-ever COA notification under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture regarding another country’s measures.
Based on US calculations, the Trump administration said it appeared that India had “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,” it said on Wednesday.
The US expected a robust discussion on how India implemented and notified its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for June 2018, a media statement said.
Lighthizer said the US expected its trading partners to comply with the reporting requirements they agreed to when joining the WTO.
“Accurate reporting and improved transparency of these programmes 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,” he said.
American farmers are the most productive and competitive in the world, and with free and fair trade, they always did well in the international marketplace, Perdue said.
“India represents a massive market, and we want greater access for US products, but India must be transparent about their practices. For trade to be free and fair, all parties must abide by their WTO commitments,” he said.
Based on publicly available information, the US on May 4, submitted a counter-notification in the WTO Committee on Agriculture on India’s market price support for wheat and rice.
The US has identified several areas of potential concern with India’s notification of its market price support for rice and wheat.
These include issues with the quantity of production used in market price support calculations, the exclusion of state-level bonuses from calculations of applied administered prices, exclusion from India’s notifications of information on the total value of production of wheat and rice and issues with currency conversions.