A powerful Republican Party Senator has urged the Biden administration to speak to the Indian government about the subsidies it gives to its wheat and rice growing farmers, which he claimed is against the norms of the World Trade Organization.
“Rice and wheat farmers throughout the country are seriously impacted by India’s blatant WTO violations,” Senator John Boozman from Arkansas said during a Congressional hearing on the 2023 Farm Bill organised by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
“We continue to engage India in multilateral forums on this issue, raising questions in the WTO, and working on counter notifications in years past to bring out really what we view as the truth to their subsidisation policy,” replied Alexis Taylor, USDA Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.
He was responding to a question from Boozman, who is a Ranking Member of the Agricultural Committee.
“Could you tell us a little bit about what you are doing in your partnership with Ambassador McKalip, how you’re able to take some steps to hold India accountable? Is there anything that we as a committee or as a Congress can do to be helpful in that regard?” Boozman asked.
“How can we make sure that this egregious over-subsidisation, and those words aren’t too strong, I think everyone agrees with that, how can we hold them accountable?” he said.
Taylor said she has been engaging with her team since she been at USDA on this topic. “We do have grave concerns and we’re looking at multiple approaches to address within the multilateral forum to try to bring some resolution and certainty to our rice and wheat producers who are seeing the impact from these subsidies.”.