U.S. challenges China at WTO over sharply higher farm subsidy

The United States has challenged China at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over “excessive government support” for domestic grain production.

The U.S Trade Representative’s (USTR) office claimed that China’s “market price support” for rice, wheat, and corn in 2015 was estimated to be nearly $100 billion above the limits that China committed to when it joined the WTO in 2001.

That pushed up Chinese grain prices above market levels and created artificial government incentives for Chinese farmers to increase production, and thus affected the ability of U.S. farmers to compete around the world, the USTR said in a statement.

China’s Ministry of Commerce expressed regret at the U.S. challenge, saying it would adopt measures in accordance with WTO dispute settlement protocols and safeguard China’s interests.

The trade enforcement case, the 14th that the Obama administration has launched against China at the WTO, comes at a time of increasing anti-trade rhetoric in the current U.S. presidential campaigns.


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