Dear CSCA Members,
On February 12, 2019, the United States submitted a counter notification (attached), co-sponsored by Canada, to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on Agriculture (CoA) on India’s market price support for chickpeas, pigeon peas, black matpe, mung beans and lentils. Both the US and Canadian Governments have identified several areas of concern with India’s reporting of domestic support provided for the 2016-17 marketing year, including: 1) issues with the quantity of production used in market price support calculations, 2) exclusion of information on the total value of production for each category of pulse (information necessary to assess compliance with WTO commitments), 3) issues with currency conversions, and 4) issues regarding the prices used in India’s calculations.
The WTO CoA will be meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on February 26 where this counter notification will be discussed. The Government of Canada noted that Australia will also be co-sponsoring the counter notification, however, the revised counter notification that includes Australia has yet to be issued. The attached document is now publicly available on the WTO website.
A counter notification is not a WTO “challenge” or “dispute” but rather a part of the normal operation of the CoA. Article 18.7 of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) states that “Any Member may bring to the attention of the Committee on Agriculture (CoA) any measure which it considers ought to have been notified by another Member.” If a Member believes, for example, that another Member has incorrectly calculated its domestic support, it can submit a “counter notification” using the methodology in the AoA. The Government of Canada expects that India will disagree with the calculations made by the US and Canada regarding India’s domestic support on pulses. The Government of Canada is hopeful that the counter notification forces further discussion with India at the WTO level regarding the effect that India’s domestic policies for pulses has had on the global pulse market.
Please refer to the attachment for full details on the counter notification.