BREAKING: U.S. Wins Dispute Over China's Grain Tariff-Rate Quotas

April 18, 2019 09:52 AM
The U.S. has won a dispute over China's grain tariff-rate quotas.

The following is a news release from the United States Trade Representative:

Washington, DC – 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,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “The Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations.”

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,” said 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.”


Upon accession to the WTO, China made commitments specific to its administration of TRQs, including the commitment to administer its TRQs in a transparent, predictable, and fair basis, using clearly specified administrative procedures and requirements that do not inhibit the filling of each TRQ.  In August 2017, the United States requested that the WTO establish a dispute settlement panel to consider whether China administers its TRQs for long-grain rice, short- and medium-grain rice, wheat, and corn in a manner inconsistent with its WTO commitments. 

Today’s panel report agrees with the United States that China administers its TRQs in a manner inconsistent with its Accession Protocol obligations, through its eligibility criteria, allocation and reallocation procedures, public comment process, and processing restrictions.  In addition, China allocates a significant portion of each TRQ to a designated state-trading enterprise (STE) and does not subject the STE to the same rules applied to non-state trading enterprises applying for and importing grains under the TRQs.   Each finding individually established that China’s TRQ measures are inconsistent with its obligations. 

Compliance with WTO rules will lead to market-oriented TRQ administration and improved access for U.S. and other exporters, overall creating a more level playing field.

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Spell Check

somewhere, MN
4/18/2019 04:14 PM

  Bob, maybe you should consider that at least this administration is trying to correct a problem that has been continually plaguing our farmers for years by many previous administrations because they were all politicians, not business people...Instead of being insulting, maybe you should be grateful that the current leader actually cares enough to try to help our ag industry...

NoTown, KS
4/18/2019 05:22 PM

  DJ...tRump is NOT correcting anything. This is a ploy to get the farmers to vote for Punkinhead in 2020. Both, China and SA are 'eating' his lunch while he takes the US down the same road as he takes his 'businesses'. Six bankruptcies shows the GREAT business person he claims to be. He is one big phoney and some of you are buying his story. This country has NOT had a decent administration for half a century.

little town, WI
4/19/2019 09:12 AM

  It doesn't matter what they say or do.The Usda works for the corporations .they could care less about a farmer.Look at all the fake reports they come with.not one in favor of a farmer.2


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