US lawmakers seek litigation at WTO against India on wheat subsidy

Other News 22 January 2022 11:27 (UTC +04:00)
US lawmakers seek litigation at WTO against India on wheat subsidy

Top American lawmakers have urged the Joe Biden administration to initiate a litigation process at the World Trade Organisation against India subsidising its farmers over half of the value of production for wheat.

US Wheat Associates, which has been aggressively pushing for such a move by the administration, has welcomed the letters by members of the Congress and Senate.

A group of 28 members of the US Congress, in a letter, said, “American commodity producers are operating at a clear disadvantage to their competitors, primarily from India, where the government is subsidising more than half of the value of production for rice and wheat, instead of the 10 per cent allowable under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.”

“We ask that you swiftly take action to reverse the trend of non-compliance by India with WTO domestic support requirements by initiating a dispute settlement case,” stated the letter to US Trade Representatives Katherine Tai and Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack.

The Congress members wrote the US has continually pressed India at the WTO to reform its price support programme but to no avail.

“Considering India’s activity, we encourage you to initiate the WTO litigation process through a request for consultations,” they said.

The letter by the members of the Congressmen on January 13 comes nearly a month after 18 Senators sent a similar letter to Vilsack and Tai requesting the Biden administration pursue WTO case against India’s domestic support for rice and wheat production.

The US has previously highlighted India’s non-compliance through counter-notifications at the WTO Committee on Agriculture.