WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States on Wednesday (May 9) lodged a complaint against India over indications the country has underreported its price support for grains.
Both the underreporting and the excess price support would violate the rules of the World Trade Organization, the US Trade Representative and Agriculture Department in a joint statement.
"Based on US calculations, it appears that India has substantially underreported its market price support for wheat and rice." And it appears the amount "far exceeded its allowable levels of trade distorting domestic support." Under WTO rules, all members are required to file an annual notification of what products are imported or exported by state companies.
Then any member may make a counter-notification if "it feels that a notification by another Member is either incomplete or incorrect." The US counter notification, filed May 4, was the first ever for the global trade body.
"The United States expects our trading partners to comply with the reporting requirements they agreed to when joining the WTO," US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said.
"India represents a massive market," added US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, "and we want greater access for US products, but India must be transparent about their practices." US officials cited issues with calculations of the amount and value of production as well as with currency conversions.