Hoeven: WTO Compliance Case Against China to Level Playing Field for N.D. Wheat, Corn Producers

WASHINGTON -- Senator John Hoeven today said he fully backs U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman bringing another compliance case against China in the World Trade Organization (WTO) for failing to meet market access obligations for American wheat, corn and rice. It’s the second case the USTR has taken against China this year. In September, the United States filed a separate compliance case against China for over-subsidizing its domestic crops.

“In September, I offered my support to the USTR in its compliance case against China, along with a bipartisan group of my colleagues,” Hoeven said. “Now we find that China is engaging in other activities that put our farmers at an unfair disadvantage. 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.”

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that China’s tariff rate quotas (TRQ) for wheat, corn and rice were worth over $7 billion in 2015. Under WTO rules, these quotas are supposed to provide market access at lower tariff rates to U.S. commodities up to certain levels, but China is not living up to these market access commitments for wheat, corn and rice. If the TRQs had been fully used, China would have imported as much as $3.5 billion worth of additional crops last year alone.