USDA: Beef and Poultry Exports, China Grain TRQs
Beef and Poultry Exports. The Department of Agriculture has announced that the U.S. and Tunisia have finalized U.S. export certificates to allow imports of U.S. beef, poultry, and egg products into Tunisia. According to a USDA press release, initial estimates are that Tunisia would import $5-10 million of beef, poultry, and egg products from the U.S. annually, with additional growth over time. U.S. exports of agricultural products to Tunisia in 2018 exceeded $264 million and more than 90 percent were corn, soybeans, or corn and soy products.
China Grain TRQs. U.S. agricultural exports to China could increase if that country complies with a recent World Trade Organization ruling. According to the Department of Agriculture, a WTO dispute settlement panel has found that China violated a commitment to administer its tariff-rate quotas for imports of wheat, corn, and rice in a transparent, predictable, and fair manner using clearly specified administrative procedures and requirements that do not inhibit the filling of each TRQ. USDA estimates that if these TRQs had been fully used China would have imported as much as $3.5 billion worth of corn, wheat and rice in 2015 alone.
According to the USDA, the WTO panel said China administers its TRQs in a manner inconsistent with its accession protocol obligations through its eligibility criteria, allocation and reallocation procedures, public comment process, and processing restrictions. In addition, China allocates a significant portion of each TRQ to a designated state-trading enterprise and does not subject the STE to the same rules applied to non-STEs applying for and importing grains under the TRQs.
This ruling follows a WTO determination in March that China has provided trade-distorting domestic support to its grain producers well in excess of its commitments under WTO rules.