Rep. Crawford and Higgins Introduce the Prioritizing Offensive Agriculture Disputes and Enforcement Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sara Robertson (Sara.Robertson2@mail.house.gov)

Rep. Crawford and Higgins Introduce the Prioritizing Offensive Agriculture Disputes and Enforcement Act

9/28/2023

Washington  Today, Congressmen Rick Crawford (AR-01) and Clay Higgins (LA-03) introduced the Prioritizing Offensive Agricultural Disputes and Enforcement Act. The bill establishes a joint task force on agricultural trade enforcement between the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, signaling more engagement with Congress and the private sector on the development of agricultural dispute priorities. The bill also emphasizes the need for an agricultural dispute settlement case at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against India’s trade distorting farm subsidies, which could include rice, wheat, pulses, peanuts, cotton, and other commodities.

“This bill helps get us to a point where our government is going to coordinate and strategize to get more wins for agriculture on the board, and there’s no better place to start than with India. This bill is a win for all of U.S. agriculture because what our trading partners and our export competition are doing has an effect on us, so we need to use all of our tools available to resolve the tipping of the scales we’re seeing,” said Rep. Crawford.

“American farmers are the most competitive in the world and when they’re put on a level playing field they will consistently succeed, however, we have not been in a position in recent years where we play offense and proactively get wins for agriculture at the WTO. This task force would also be responsible for identifying wins against other bad actors out there, including China, where we consistently see a lack of compliance with WTO commitments,” said Rep. Higgins.

“It is a relief to see Congressman Crawford, Senator Boozman, and others introduce this bill. As a farmer I spend a lot of time frustrated with the lack of enforcement in these markets that are clearly violating the rules,” said Dow Brantley, who farms rice, soybean, corn, and cotton near England, Arkansas, and is vice chair of the USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee. “We work hard to keep our cost of production as low as possible yet get beat out in the marketplace by commodities that are produced inefficiently because of the staggering levels of subsidies provided by their governments.”

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