Beijing rejects US allegations of 'unfair' subsidies for grain products


China's rice, wheat and corn subsidies are in line with WTO rules, Beijing's commerce ministry said after Washington launched legal action against what it says are "unfair" trade incentives worth US$100 billion.

The United States alleges China, the world's largest producer of wheat and rice, doled out "market price support" for the grains above levels agreed at the Geneva-based WTO, making Chinese farmers more competitive around the world.

Beijing's commerce ministry said it had received the U.S. request for consultations under the World Trade Organization dispute settlement mechanism but insisted its policy was legal.

"Agriculture is a fundamental industry in any country and is key to the economic interests of the mass of agricultural producers," an unnamed commerce ministry official said in a statement posted late Tuesday.

Government support for the sector was a "common international practice," the officialsaid.

The China Post

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