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WTO compliance case against China to level playing field for wheat, corn producers

North Dakota legislators are bringing a compliance case against China to hold the country accountable for failing to meet market access commitments to American wheat, corn and rice growers.

1644136+Hoeven, John 2015.JPG
John Hoeven

North Dakota legislators are bringing a compliance case against China to hold the country accountable for failing to meet market access commitments to American wheat, corn and rice growers.

U.S. Sens. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. and John Hoeven's offices shared press releases on Thursday announcing a World Trade Organization agriculture compliance against China to hold the country accountable for failing to meet market access commitments to American grains.

The WTO complaint states that China's opaque and unpredictable tariff-rate quotas for wheat, corn, and rice fail to live up to the country's WTO commitments and undermine market access for U.S. producers. China would have imported as much as $3.5 billion in additional crops last year alone had it fairly administered its tariff-rate quotas, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Now we find that China is engaging in other activities that put our farmers at an unfair disadvantage," said Hoeven, R-N.D. in the press release. "Trade agreements are meant to level the playing field for all countries involved, but when one country, like China, provides its producers with high subsidies and blocks market access, it needs to be held accountable"

North Dakota was the top wheat producer in the U.S. in 2015 and is a growing producer of corn, meaning the state's producers are heavily impacted when China limits market access or over-subsidizes its domestically produced crops. The U.S. Trade Representative's enforcement challenge aims to hold China to its trade agreements and level the playing field so that American farmers have fair access to the market.

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"When China or any other country cheats on a trade agreement, they make it harder for North Dakota wheat and corn farmers to access markets and get fair value for our state's top-notch crops," Heitkamp said in a press release.

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp
Heidi Heitkamp

Related Topics: AGRICULTURE
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