NAWG backs Fair Trade case against India
KANSAS CITY – The National Wheat Growers Association said Jan. 13 it supports a letter written by 28 members of the U.S. House of Representatives seeking a World Trade Organization complaint against price support interiors of India for the production of wheat and rice.
The letter was addressed to US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai. It echoed a parallel letter signed last month by 18 U.S. senators led by Senator John Boozman of Arkansas, the ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
The January 13 letter from the Chamber states: “Trade-distorting domestic support has always been a major challenge for farmers, and WTO rules were created to limit these practices. Overall the system has been successful, but there are repeat offenders, such as China and India, where enforcement is needed. Your teams have constantly pressed India at the WTO to reform its price support program, but to no avail.
The United States previously highlighted India’s non-compliance through counter-notifications to the WTO Agriculture Committee, the NAWG said.
In a Jan. 13 press release, NAWG chief executive Chandler Goule thanked the Kansas and Arkansas reps who led the latest letter.
“Wheat and rice farmers rely on open markets and fair trade to facilitate trade, which plays a vital role in supporting our producers and our jobs in rural America,” he said. “The NAWG appreciates US Representatives Tracey Mann and Rick Crawford for leading these efforts highlighting the importance of open markets.
“It is important that as a member of the WTO, India respects its international commitments and does not continue to create unfair advantages for its domestic production and distort global trade. We appreciate the representatives bringing the matter to the administration’s attention and will continue to work with the USDA and USTR to improve the competitiveness of US wheat around the world. MBN