Chinese Grain Subsidies Are Too High

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW), along with other commodity groups and the USDA, welcomed a ruling from the World Trade Organization dispute panel regarding Chinese grain subsidies. The WTO panel ruled that Chinese government payments to farmers for grains exceeded China’s WTO agreements and significantly distort global wheat trade. The dispute panel formed after the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office challenged China’s domestic agricultural support programs for wheat, corn, and rice through the WTO dispute settlement process back in September of 2016. USW President Vince Peterson says they’re pleased that the Trump Administration has continued to support his group through the dispute. “U.S. farmers have been hurt by China’s overproduction and protectionist measures for too long,” Peterson says, “and it’s past time for China to start living up to its commitments.” A 2015 Iowa State University study said China’s domestic market support price for wheat at the time of almost $10 per bushel cost U.S. wheat farmers between $650 and $700 million annually in lost income by preventing export opportunities and suppressing global wheat prices. “The past two decades have been a lost opportunity for the WTO negotiating function as major countries like China have refused to take on new responsibilities,” Peterson says. “Perhaps this will be the wake-up call countries need to realize restricting trade opportunities hurts everyone.”