WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, a bipartisan group of 18 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives, led by Reps. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and Tracey Mann (R-KS), sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Tai and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack asking for more action at the World Trade Organization (WTO) on behalf of U.S. rice and wheat growers.
The letter is targeted specifically toward abuses by India and comes on the heels of the U.S. co-sponsored counter-notification at the WTO (see USA Rice Daily, April 6, 2023).
The letter reads: “Your recent counter notification at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding India’s rice and wheat subsidies is a step in the right direction in publicly addressing India’s blatant disregard for the commitments they made when they joined the WTO. It was also encouraging to see other affected countries leading this effort alongside the United States. According to the counter notification, India subsidized up to nearly 94 percent of the value of their rice crop and 81 percent of the value of their wheat crop in the 2020/21 crop year, far exceeding the 10 percent de minimis limit they are obliged to adhere to.”
The Members continued: “Unfortunately, these figures continue to grow year over year and pose a dangerous threat to our domestic industry. We request that you move to swiftly take action to reverse this trend of non-compliance by India and formally initiate a WTO dispute settlement case.”
“We thank our champions in Congress, like Representatives Crawford and Mann, for continuing to keep this key issue front of mind for our USTR Trade Negotiator,” said Bobby Hanks, Louisiana rice miller and chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee. “We hope to see more momentum build toward a case taken not only by the U.S. but also a number of other rice and wheat exporting countries that have been impacted by India’s egregious subsidies.”