USDA Will Defend Trade Aid at WTO

Dan Economy, Industry News Release, Trade


The World Trade Organization (WTO) has been receiving complaints about the aid money that U.S. farmers are getting from the government. However, Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says he’s not concerned that the payments will be a problem. “We had to design a program very carefully to make sure we do not violate the WTO limit,” he said to reporters in Washington. “We feel like we’re safely within those confines and we’re prepared to defend that should anyone challenge it.”

China, India, the European Union, Ukraine, and Australia have all fired off criticism at the USDA’s two aid packages for farmers that could total up to $28 billion in assistance designed to counteract retaliatory tariffs implemented on U.S. farm goods. Australia calls the aid a “dangerous precedent” that could distort world markets. China says they appreciate that the U.S. respects the interest of its farmers. “We would appreciate it if the U.S. can also respect the WTO rules,” China says.

An Agri-Pulse report says several member countries in the WTO are fearful that the U.S. will give its farmers a third trade assistance package next year, which Perdue says he won’t rule out.

Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasters