The U.S. has requested a Dispute Settlement Panel against China over $100 billion in excess subsidies for corn, rice and wheat. House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway (R-TX), issued a statement condemning what he calls China’s “predatory trade practices.”
“Over the course of the past two years, the House Agriculture Committee has held extensive hearings concerning the predatory trade practices of foreign countries which employ enormous subsidies, high tariffs, and non-tariff trade practices to advantage their agricultural sectors in violation of their own trade commitments to the harm of U.S. farm and ranch families,” the statement reads, in part. “Among the most notorious is China, which can always be relied upon to thumb its nose at the rules the United States always plays by, with China exceeding its subsidy commitments by $100 billion in a single year on just three crops—corn, wheat, and rice.”
That amount is more than 100 U.S. crops receive during the entire lifespan of the five-year farm bill, Conaway says. What’s worse, he adds – other nations, including India, are using China’s strategy to create a similarly harmful “subsidy regime.”
“Trade agreements are only valuable to the extent they are honored by all the nations that enter them or they are otherwise enforced,” he notes. “The U.S. government must restore trust in trade if America is ever to move forward with an aggressive agenda on trade.”
Conaway applauds the U.S. government’s action but also considers it “only a first small step” toward creating a level playing field for American agriculture.