US wheat groups back challenge to India’s market support programs

Grain Central, May 10, 2018

THE United States Trade Representative (USTR) has formally questioned the data India has reported to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about its market price support programs for wheat and rice from marketing years 2010/11 to 2013/14.

The move has been welcomed by the US Wheat Associates (USW) and the US National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG) who say the counternotification (CN) to the WTO Committee on Agriculture is an appropriate step that further brings transparency to countries’ farm support programs.

USW chairman, Mike Miller, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, Washington said: “The proactive use of WTO tools like counternotifications and dispute settlement will help build support for the global trade rules that provide a bulwark against market distorting policies that hurt American farmers.”

He said India’s domestic support scheme, which USTR and USDA demonstrated was vastly under-reported, created excess capacity that prevented trade opportunities and sometimes led to India dumping excess capacity from its massive public stocks.

In 2013/14 India was the seventh largest wheat exporter in the world and consistently the largest rice exporter.

The US counternotification covers India’s market price support for wheat and rice.

Under its WTO commitments, India may provide subsidies equal to no more than 10 per cent of the total value of crop production.

In the years covered in the CN, the US demonstrates through India’s own data that its price support appears to be the equivalent of 60pc to 68pc of the value of production for wheat and 74pc to 84pc of the value of production for rice.

NAWG president Jimmie Musick, a wheat farmer from Sentinel, Oklahoma, said India’s large price support program had a negative effect on international markets.

“We welcome this signal from our government that it is not going to accept obvious attempts to cheat the system by India and other countries,” he said.

If India does not take corrective actions to bring its programs in line with its WTO commitments, USW and NAWG hope the US will coordinate with other affected countries to consider putting forward a dispute settlement case, as it did with China’s domestic support and tariff rate quota policies.

Source: USW, NAWG

USW works to develop international markets to enhance wheat’s profitability for US wheat producers.

NAWG is the primary representative in Washington DC for US wheat growers.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your comment will not appear until it has been moderated.
Contributions that contravene our Comments Policy will not be published.


Get Grain Central's news headlines emailed to you -