Tuesday, September 13

Statement by the President on World Trade Organization Enforcement Action

When American workers, businesses, and farmers have a fair shot to compete in the global economy, we win.  And when other countries flout the rules to try and undercut American workers and farmers, we hold them accountable.  That’s what my Administration has done consistently in taking more claims to the World Trade Organization than any other country – and that’s exactly what we’re doing once again today by filing our latest complaint against China before the WTO.

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China’s government has set prices for wheat, corn, and rice well above market levels, which has led to unfair government subsidies that are in violation of WTO rules. These unfairly distorted prices on important crops lead to overproduction in China and
disadvantage American farmers who export these same crops around the world.
This is the 14th WTO case we’ve launched against China since I took office and the 23rd overall, and we’ve won every case that’s been decided.  We’re confident the case we’re bringing today will be no different: it should bring an end to China’s illegal subsidies, remove significant barriers on American exports, and level the playing field for American farmers and their families who rely on the rice, wheat, and corn industries and the hundreds of thousands of jobs they help support.
But it’s not enough to enforce the existing rules; as our global economy evolves, we have to ensure America plays a leading role in setting the highest standards for the rest of the world to follow.  That’s what the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is all about: putting American workers, farmers, and businesses first.  It protects American innovation and intellectual property, enforces groundbreaking environmental and labor commitments, expands export opportunities for our farmers and businesses, and sets the highest benchmarks in history for holding America’s trading partners accountable.  It’s all the more important that we finalize TPP soon because as we speak China is negotiating a trade deal of its own-- one that would carve up the growing Asia-Pacific markets at our expense, risking American jobs, businesses, and goods.  Unless we act now to set our own high standards, the fast-growing Asia-Pacific will be forced to play by lower-standard rules that we didn’t set.  We can’t let that happen.

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