The United States has approached the World Trade Organization, alleging that India is supporting its rice and wheat farmers with payments that are far higher than the amounts allowed by WTO. The US said that when calculated according to the WTO agreement on agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for wheat and rice far exceeds permissible limits.
“India’s apparent [market price support] for wheat appears to have been over 60% of the value of production in each of the last four years for which India has notified data”, the US said, according to Reuters. “Its apparent MPS for rice appears to have been over 70%.” The limit is 10% according to WTO norms.
Market price support is the annual monetary value of gross transfers from consumers and taxpayers to farmers, due to a difference between domestic market prices and import or export prices of a commodity.
US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on Wednesday announced that the US submitted a counter notification to the WTO Committee on Agriculture on Friday regarding the matter, according to a statement published by the Office of United States Trade Representative.
“The United States expects our trading partners to comply with the reporting requirements they agreed to when joining the WTO,” said Lighthizer. Perdue said for trade to be fair, all parties must abide by their World Trade Organization commitments. “India represents a massive market, and we want greater access for US products, but India must be transparent about their practices,” Perdue added.
The statement said that the US expects a discussion on how India implements its policies at the next meeting in June.