WTO panel rules in favor of US in Chinese farm subsidy case

GENEVA — The World Trade Organization panel has ruled in favor of the United States in a dispute with China over agricultural subsidies, saying Beijing went beyond WTO limits in its support for wheat and rice producers.

The WTO's Dispute Settlement Body on Thursday found China exceeded domestic support limits on those products between 2012 and 2015.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative welcomed the ruling as "a significant victory for U.S. agriculture." Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said: "We expect China to quickly come into compliance with its WTO obligations."

Washington had argued China's minimum price support measures for two types of rice, plus wheat and corn went beyond its WTO commitments. The panel said corn prices fell in line with the limits before the U.S. filed its complaint.

The two countries can appeal the decision.

The U.S. filed its complaint in September 2016 during the Obama administration.

Since President Donald Trump took office the following year, U.S.-China trade tensions have intensified. The two countries have slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of each other's exports in a dispute over China's aggressive push to supplant U.S. technological dominance.

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