Date
22 January 2017
Washington is alleging state support for Chinese farmers exceeds internationally agreed levels. Photo: Xinhua
Washington is alleging state support for Chinese farmers exceeds internationally agreed levels. Photo: Xinhua

US launches WTO action against Chinese farm subsidies

The United States has launched a World Trade Organization (WTO) complaint against Chinese subsidies for domestic wheat, rice and corn growers.

Washington is alleging state support for these farmers exceeds internationally agreed levels.

Beijing spent nearly US$100 billion more than allowed under the WTO on “market price support” for those agricultural products in 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing US officials.

“Unfortunately, China’s price supports have encouraged wheat, corn and rice production in China that has displaced imports,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

The complaint relates to long-grain Indica rice, the short and medium-grain Japonica variety, as well as wheat and corn.

The Chinese government support has hurt American growers, US officials said.

The US has run afoul of complicated WTO agricultural rules before, including in a cotton case Washington lost to Brazil.

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has overseen two dozen new trade enforcement actions at the WTO, with 14 of those against China and three against India.

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