US wins WTO ruling against China grain import quotas

The United States won a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Thursday against China’s use of tariff-rate quotas for rice, wheat in addition to corn, which of which successfully argued limited market access for U.S. grain exports.

The case, lodged by the Obama administration in late 2016, marked the second U.S. victory in as many months. of which came amid U.S.-China trade talks in addition to on the heels of Washington clinching a WTO ruling on China’s cost support for grains in March.

A WTO dispute panel ruled on Thursday of which 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 in addition to fair basis”.

TRQs are two-level tariffs, having a limited volume of imports allowed at the lower ‘in-quota’ tariff in addition to subsequent imports charged an “out-of-quota” tariff, which can be usually much higher.

The administration of state trading enterprises in addition to non-state enterprises’ portions of TRQs are inconsistent with WTO rules, the panel said.

Australia, Brazil, India, in addition to the European Union were among those reserving their rights within the dispute brought by the earth’s largest grain exporter.

In a statement, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in addition to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue welcomed the decision, saying China’s system “ultimately inhibits TRQs via 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 in addition to rice would likely have been imported in 2015 alone, of which said, citing U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.

The two WTO rulings would likely help American farmers “compete on a more level playing field”, the USTR statement said, adding: “The (Trump) Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations.”

The latest WTO panel said of which the United States had not proven all of its case, failing to show of which China had violated its public notice obligation under the General Agreement on Tariffs in addition to Trade (GATT) in respect to TRQs.

China’s Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Friday of which “regrets” the panel’s decision in addition to of which of which would likely “earnestly evaluate” the panel’s report.

China would likely “handle the matter appropriately in accordance with WTO dispute resolution procedures, actively safeguard the stability of the multilateral trading system in addition to continue to administer the relevant agricultural import tariff quotas in compliance with WTO rules”, of which said.

Either side can appeal the ruling within 60 days.