New policies implemented by China inappropriately manage trade flows and are non-compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments, according to the six agriculture groups who recently sent a joint letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick.
The National Corn Growers Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, Wheat Export Trade Education Committee, National Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Grains Council signed the letter outlining how over the past 18 months, China has imposed additional standards for the import of plant and animal products. The letter states that these new restrictions were applied without prior notice and failed to provide trading partners the opportunity to comment or properly prepare for implementation.
The new standards also encourage Chinese firms to avoid contractual commitments and discriminate against specific private entities through the broad-based imposition of company-specific trading bans, the letter says. The groups also contend that the Chinese rules result in unjustified management and delay in the issuance of Permits for Quarantine Inspections in order to control imports for political and economic reasons.
"These measures fail to comply with Chinaâ€™s WTO obligations," the letter states. "They are resulting in serious interruptions in cargo contracting for U.S. commodities that soon will be harvested and are limiting sales of various agricultural products. The near- and long-term costs of such actions directly impact U.S. farm income."
The groups urge the administration to resolve any impediments to trade created by China in the last year and ensure the country meets its obligations under the WTO agreement.
To read the letter, click HERE. (This link requires your computer to have Adobe Acrobat Reader. For a free download, visit www.adobe.com.)