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U.S. challenges India’s market price support for cottonU.S. challenges India’s market price support for cotton

U.S. submits counter-notification to WTO Committee on Agriculture seeking additional information on how India sets cotton price supports.

Jacqui Fatka

November 14, 2018

1 Min Read
U.S. challenges India’s market price support for cotton

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced Nov. 13 that the U.S. submitted a counter-notification to the World Trade Organization's Committee on Agriculture (COA) on India’s market price support for cotton. The U.S. has been calling for WTO reform to improve the review process of its various committees.

To continue to improve transparency in WTO, on Nov. 9, 2018, the U.S. filed its second COA notification under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture regarding another country’s measures.

Based on U.S. calculations, it appears that India has substantially under-reported its market price support for cotton. When calculated according to the WTO Agreement on Agriculture methodology, India’s market price support for cotton far exceeded its allowable levels of trade-distorting domestic support.

The U.S. has identified several areas of potential concern with India’s notification of its market price support for cotton. These include issues with the quantity of production used in market price support calculations, exclusion from India’s notifications of information on the total value of production of cotton (information necessary to assess compliance with WTO commitments) and issues with currency conversions.

The counter-notification covered the 2010-11 through 2016-17 marketing years, when India’s minimum price support payments ranged from 53% to 81% of the cotton production value. 

The National Cotton Council thanked the Administration for pushing counter-notifications as a necessary step to bring needed transparency to India’s domestic support programs, which is especially important to understanding global cotton markets and the wide-ranging impact these programs have on global cotton and fiber markets.

The U.S. expects a robust discussion on how India implements and notifies its policies at the next COA meeting, which is scheduled for Nov. 26-27, 2018.

About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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