U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced that a World Trade Organization (WTO) 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.
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.
“This second important victory for the United States further demonstrates that President Trump will take all steps necessary to enforce trade rules and to ensure free and fair trade for U.S. farmers. The Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations,” says Ambassador Lighthizer.
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.
“Making sure our trading partners play by the rules is vital to providing our farmers the opportunity to export high-quality, American-grown products to the world,” says Secretary Perdue. “Today’s announcement is another victory for American farmers and fairness in the global trade system. We will use every tool available to gain meaningful market access opportunities for U.S. grains and other agricultural products.”