House Members Call for Action Against India’s Wheat, Rice Subsidies

Recently, 28 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture (USDA) Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai requesting the administration pursue a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against India’s domestic support for rice and wheat production. The U.S. has previously highlighted India’s noncompliance through counternotifications at the WTO Committee on Agriculture.

Last month, Senator Boozman (R-Ark.), the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, led a parallel letter in the Senate. That letter included 18 U.S. senators.

“Wheat and rice farmers rely on open markets and fair trade to facilitate trade, which plays a vital role in supporting our growers and jobs in rural America. NAWG appreciates U.S. Representative Tracey Mann (R-Kan.) and Rick Crawford (R-Ark.) for leading these efforts outlining the importance of open markets,” said National Association of Wheat Growers CEO Chandler Goule. “It is important that as a WTO member, India adhere to international commitments and not continue to create unfair advantages for its domestic production and distort world trade. We appreciate the representatives for bringing the issue to the attention of the administration and will continue to work with the USDA and USTR in enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. wheat in the world.”

The letter stated, “Trade distorting domestic support has always been a major challenge for farmers, and WTO rules were created to limit these practices.  For the most part, the system has been successful, but there are repeat offenders, like China and India, where enforcement is necessary.  Your teams have continually pressed India at the WTO to reform its price support program, but to no avail.”