Today, WTO members agreed to the establishment of a dispute panel at the request of China to determine whether China complied with an earlier WTO ruling regarding subsidies for wheat and rice producers.
DS511: China — Domestic Support for Agricultural Producers
China submitted its second request for a dispute panel to determine whether it has complied with a WTO ruling regarding China’s domestic support for agricultural producers. China’s first request was blocked at a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 28 August.
China reiterated that it has adopted measures on minimum procurement prices for wheat and rice that have brought it into compliance with the panel ruling. China noted the United States chose to directly proceed to a request for WTO authorization to retaliate against China on the grounds that it had not complied without first resorting to compliance panel procedures or reaching a sequencing agreement with China on how to proceed in the dispute. China said it is concerned about the systematic implication of the US approach in this dispute, which would open the door to the abuse of the dispute settlement system. China also said the US action comes at a time when it is sharply increasing its own domestic support for farmers, raising legitimate questions whether the US itself is providing agriculture support in excess of its allowed limits.
The United States said it disagrees with the variety of assertions made by China. China continues to provide significant levels of domestic support to its agricultural producers, and the revised market price support measures notified by China in June did not themselves demonstrate that China now provides a level of domestic support within its commitment levels. The US once again noted that it has paused the arbitration proceedings on its request for the right to retaliate and understands that China is not seeking further litigation but is requesting the compliance panel in order to preserve its rights.
The DSB agreed to the establishment of a panel. The Russia Federation, Chinese Taipei, Turkey, Norway, Pakistan, Thailand, the European Union, India, Korea, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Guatemala reserved their rights to participate as third parties in the proceedings.