Date
17 December 2017
China's grain import restrictions harmed American farmers, says US Trade Representative Michael Froman. Photo: Bloomberg
China's grain import restrictions harmed American farmers, says US Trade Representative Michael Froman. Photo: Bloomberg

US launches WTO challenge over China grain import barriers

The United States on Thursday launched a new challenge over Beijing’s barriers to American rice, wheat and corn, alleging that China failed to honor international commitments. 

Washington accused Beijing of not maximizing the use of tariff-rate quotas (TRQs), which offer lower duties on a certain volume of imported grains every year, even though global prices for rice, wheat and corn were lower than China’s domestic prices, Reuters reports. 

If the quotas had been fully used, China would have imported up to US$3.5 billion more of the three commodities last year, US Trade Representative Michael Froman was quoted as saying. 

Beijing’s move harmed American farm exports, he said, announcing the new complaint lodged with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“The United States will aggressively pursue this challenge on behalf of American rice, wheat, and corn farmers,” Froman was quoted as saying in a statement.

It was the second challenge to China’s agricultural policies by the US Trade Representative since September and the latest in a series of trade disputes between the world’s largest economies, the report noted. 

In September, Washington challenged China’s alleged subsidies for its domestic cereal production. 

American exports of wheat, rice and corn to China fell to US$381 million last year from US$2.3 billion in 2013.

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RC

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