India has paid out far more in cotton subsidies than the World Trade Organization allows, with payments ‘vastly in excess’ of what it had officially declared, the United States said in a filing to the trade watchdog on Monday.
The US assessment of India's market price support (MPS) for cotton said New Delhi was allowed to pay out up to 10 percent of the value of production, but the actual figure had ranged from 53 percent to 81 percent since 2010.
‘It appears that India provides MPS for cotton vastly in excess of what it has reported to the WTO,’ the US filing said.
The US filing is the latest in a series of analyses of publicly available data that Washington has submitted to the WTO, each one setting out apparent breaches of WTO rules that are hiding in plain sight. Previous submissions have targeted China and Vietnam as well as India.
‘The United States is providing this information to other (WTO) Members in the interest of promoting transparency surrounding India's MPS policies,’ the filing said. ‘This document is for the purpose of discussion by World Trade Organization Members.’
India has been the second-largest cotton producer since 2006, behind China, and the second-largest exporter since 2007, the document said.
The US filing said that for the 2015/16 marketing year, India had notified market price support of $18 million, which was about 1.2 billion rupees, but the United States estimated that the correct figure was 504 billion rupees.
In 2016/17, India had not notified any MPS, but the United States calculated the correct level at around 557 billion rupees.
‘The United States looks forward to future discussion of the significance of India’s MPS for cotton for both India’s market and for world markets - both with India and with other Members,’ it said.
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