Kansas legislators call for litigation against India for wheat practices

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Kansas legislators have called on the Biden Administration to begin litigation processes against India for violating World Trade Organization rules regarding wheat – the chief agricultural product of Kansas.

U.S. Representative Tracey Mann (R-KS) says he joined Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR) and 26 other colleagues to send a letter to the Biden Administration to urge it to hold India accountable under World Trade Organization rules, especially those about wheat and rice production.

“The biggest challenge to both domestic and export sales are related to U.S. competitiveness,” the Members write. “American commodity producers are operating at a clear disadvantage to their competitors, primarily from India, where the government is subsidizing more than half of the value of production for rice and wheat, instead of the ten percent allowable under WTO rules.”

Mann said the letter encourages U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to initiate the WTO litigation process.

“Trade distorting domestic support has always been a major challenge for farmers, and WTO rules were created to limit these practices,” said Rep. Mann. “Ensuring all parties are cooperating under the same guidelines is paramount to international trade. My colleagues and I are calling on U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to uphold their duty to our American farmers and ranchers to protect our domestic markets – it is time to level the playing field.”

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and 17 of his Senate colleagues, including Sens. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) sent a similar letter. Mann said the effort has been supported by the National Association of Wheat Growers and USA Rice.

“For too long, Indian government policies have cost U.S. wheat money and export opportunities. Those Indian policies cost U.S. wheat farmers more than $500 million annually,” said Justin Knopf, President of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers. “With India poised for near-record exports, time is of the utmost importance. We encourage the USTR to use the WTO to hold India accountable to their past commitments.”

To read the full letter sent by Rep. Mann, click HERE.

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