WASHINGTON, DC -- USA Rice was represented yesterday at a public hearing held by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) on China's compliance with its obligations to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Craig Thorn of DTB Associates provided testimony on behalf of USA Rice, U.S. Wheat Associates, and the U.S. Grains Council on the tremendous increase over the past decade in China's domestic support for rice, wheat, and corn production which has left China's support levels significantly higher than those in the United States.
"(T)hese policies have put China in clear violation of its WTO commitments," said Thorn. "Keep in mind that we were looking at only three commodities. China has support programs for other products - such as pork, cotton, and oilseeds - which we did not include in our calculations."
DTB Associates, on behalf of USA Rice, has carried out several studies of the WTO compliance of rice support programs in key global rice producing and import countries.
USA Rice and DTB staff also met yesterday with staff of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) to review findings by both DTB and the USITC on Vietnam's rice support programs. The USITC published in April a comprehensive report Rice: Global Competitiveness of the U.S. Industry.
USA Rice and several other commodities groups are urging the administration to focus on the WTO compliance of countries like China and certain other advanced developing countries, and to utilize the WTO's dispute settlement mechanism as appropriate.