US Issues WTO Counter-Notification Against India’s Market Price Support
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue have announced that the US submitted a counter notification in the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support (MPS) for wheat and rice. Filed on May 4, this is the first ever COA notification under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture regarding another country’s measures.
Based on US calculations, it appears that India has substantially underreported its market price support for wheat and rice. When calculated according to WTO Agreement on Agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for wheat and rice far exceeded its allowable levels of trade distorting domestic support. The US is calling for a robust discussion on how India implements and notifies its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for June 2018.
“The United States expects our trading partners to comply with the reporting requirements they agreed to when joining the WTO,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “Accurate reporting and improved transparency of these programs is an important step in ensuring that our trading partners are living up to their WTO commitments and helps achieve more market-based outcomes through the multilateral trading system.”
Agriculture on India’s market price support for wheat and rice – based on publicly available information. The US identified several areas of potential concern with India’s notification of its market price support for rice and wheat. These include issues with the quantity of production used in market price support calculations, the exclusion of state-level bonuses from calculations of applied administered prices, exclusion from India’s notifications of information on the total value of production (VoP) of wheat and rice (information necessary to assess compliance with WTO commitments), and issues with currency conversions.
“American farmers are the most productive and competitive in the world, and with free and fair trade, they always do well in the international marketplace,” Secretary Perdue said. “India represents a massive market, and we want greater access for US products, but India must be transparent about their practices. For trade to be free and fair, all parties must abide by their WTO commitments.”