Senators ask Biden administration to take India to the WTO


Senators ask Biden administration to take India to the WTO

A group of Republican Senators has asked Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack and US Trade Representative Katherine Tai to pursue a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against India.  The group claims India’s domestic support for rice and wheat production is a clear violation of WTO rules.

Arkansas Senator John Boozman is the ranking member of the Senate Ag Committee.  “They are allowed to subsidize up to 10 percent,” he says.  “But they are well over that.  Because of that we just want a level playing field and we want our Ag Secretary and our Trade Representative to look into this and get us some relief.”

He tells Brownfield open markets and fair trade are crucial for America’s rice and wheat farmers.  “The American farmer can compete with anybody as long as they have a level playing field,” he says.  “And the practices India is doing are simply not appropriate.”

And, Boozman says they’re actually looking to expand trade opportunities with India.  “This is and could be a much greater trading partner than even now, but we have to do it in such a way that it is a level playing field,” he says. 

The WTO dispute settlement panel recently ruled against India following significant over-subsidization of their sugar industry in a case taken by Australia, Brazil, and Guatemala. 

The letter was signed by 18 Senators including:
Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas
Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa
Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall of Kansas
Mike Braun of Indiana

AUDIO: Senator John Boozman, Arkansas