World Trade Organization ruled that China administered its tariff-rate quotas for wheat, corn and rice inconsistently with its WTO commitments. The WTO ruling follows one in February against China’s excessive support for domestic grain farmers.
The United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling against China’s use of tariff-rate quotas for rice, wheat and corn, which it successfully argued limited market access for U.S. grain exports. The US was complaining that its grain products’ entry to Chinese markets was limited. The decision came amid U.S.-China trade talks and on the heels of Washington clinching a WTO ruling on China’s price support for grains in March.
A WTO dispute panel ruled that under the terms of its 2001 WTO accession, China’s administration of the tariff rate quotas (TRQs) as a whole violated its obligation to administer them on a “transparent, predictable and fair basis”.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomed the decision, saying China’s system ultimately inhibits TRQs from filling, denying U.S. farmers access to China’s market for grain. If China’s TRQs had been fully used, $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice would have been imported in 2015 alone, it said, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.
China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement it regrets the panel’s decision. Either side can appeal the ruling within 60 days. China is buying spring wheat from Canada due to U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.