Published: Wed, September 14, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

US complains of unfair government aid for Chinese farmers

US complains of unfair government aid for Chinese farmers

"China's excessive market price support for rice, wheat, and corn inflates Chinese prices above market levels, creating artificial government incentives for Chinese farmers to increase production", U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said in a release.

At a press conference in Washington, Froman said China's breaches of WTO rules are massive.

In a nod to that reality, Obama's statement had a distinctly political edge.

The value of China's price support for the commodities past year was an estimated $100 billion more than what it had committed to when the nation joined the WTO, the U.S.

Obama noted that distorting prices leads to overproduction of the three crops in China, and puts United States farmers who try to sell the same crops around the world at a disadvantage.

"These programs distort Chinese prices, undercut American farmers and clearly break the limits China committed to when they joined the WTO", Froman said.

US wheat prices fell to 10-year low last month and corn dropped near a nine-year low as favorable weather boosted yields to a record this year. The United States is challenging China's government support on behalf of American rice, wheat, and corn farmers to help reduce distortions for rice, wheat, and corn, and help American farmers to compete on a more level playing field. That's what the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is all about: putting American workers, farmers, and businesses first. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE). "Addressing Chinese over-subsidization can help support the price of USA wheat and corn, and that's good news for North Dakota farmers".

So, China's failure to limit its support for those products "has resulted in significant losses to American producers", he said. "Rather than talk and negotiate, the US has gone out and irritated one of its best customers". China is required to sit down with the USA within 60 days to address the complaint, but the officials said they hope to start next month when representatives of both countries are expected to meet in Geneva.

"Through tariff cuts and the removal of other trade barriers, China has gone from a $2-billion-a-year market for USA agricultural products to a $20-billion-plus market", Vilsack said.

"But we could be doing much better, particularly if our grain exports could compete in China on a level playing field", Vilsack said.

That's what my Administration has done consistently in taking more claims to the World Trade Organization than any other country - and that's exactly what we're doing once again today by filing our latest complaint against China before the WTO. China is an increasingly large importer of all kinds of foods while the the world's biggest agricultural exporter. Now China is trying to offload those stockpiles on the global market and that's pushing down worldwide prices.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael FromanMichael FromanUS launches trade case against China over ag products Liberals rally to sink Obama trade deal House lawmakers urge Obama to forgo lame-duck TPP vote MORE and Agriculture Secretary Tom VilsackThomas J. VilsackUSDA: "Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: "House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE said that China's government programs provide billions in market price support for key crops to the detriment of U.S. farmers". The country is also working to forge its own multilateral trade agreement and take the lead in the region.

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