The United States is moving forward with a World Trade Organization case against China regarding tariff-rate quotas for agricultural products.
The WTO said this week that the U.S. is requesting that the WTO set up a panel to investigate the tariff-rate quotas, a move that Reuters says sets up a showdown between the two largest economies in the world. The tariff-rate quotas at question include tariffs for wheat, rice and corn. The request was initiated by the Obama administration last year, and the Trump administration is moving forward with the format request.
The U.S. Trade representative’s office last year said global prices for the three commodities were lower than China’s domestic prices, yet the country did not maximize its use of the tariff-rate quotas, which offer lower duties on a certain volume of imported grains every year. USTR said the lack of action by China limited market access for shipments from the United States, the world’s largest grain exporter, and other countries. Since then, Australia, the European Union, Canada and Thailand have joined the dispute as third parties. The WTO Dispute Settlement Body will consider the request during a meeting August 31st.