Rice Industry Welcomes Consultations Regarding India Trade Distortion

The United States and other World Trade Organization Members are initiating consultations with India on their trade-distorting rice subsidies. Current WTO rules allow governments to subsidize up to ten percent of the value of commodity production. However, the Indian government continues to subsidize more than half of the value of production for several commodities, including rice and wheat. India’s lack of rule-following has reshaped global agricultural production and trade channels, according to Representative Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican. Crawford says, “This announcement is a long overdue step in the right direction in combatting bad actors like India and its rice subsidies to give our nation’s agriculture producers a level playing field.” USA Rice Chair Bobby Hanks says, “India makes up nearly half of global rice trade and much of its exported rice benefits from the government-established floor price, and then exported at low prices, distorting trade.” Australia, Canada, Japan, Paraguay, Thailand and Uruguay joined the U.S. in the effort.