In June 2015, Craig Thorn provided testimony before the House Agriculture Committee describing the findings of a DTB paper on the increase of subsidies in advanced developing countries. The attention brought to these issues helped lead to the WTO dispute on China’s market price support policies for corn, rice, and wheat the following year.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:
My name is Craig Thorn. I am a partner in the firm DTB Associates. Our firm represents a number of companies and trade associations in the agricultural sector. But I am here today in a personal capacity to present the results of a recent DTB study of agricultural subsidies in certain advanced developing countries.
Our paper is actually an update of an analysis we did in 2011. That study was prompted by trade problems encountered by U.S. clients in world markets – for example, lowpriced Turkish wheat flour displacing U.S. wheat exports in Asian markets and increased competition from exports of corn, rice and wheat from Brazil. In investigating those issues, we learned that a number of large advanced developing countries had significantly increased their support to farmers in recent years. The 2011 study
documented those increases and concluded the four countries examined – India, Brazil, Turkey and Thailand – were all out of compliance with their obligations under the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. Our new paper updates the original study and looks at China as well.
Our study is an objective analysis, not an advocacy piece. The data we used came from public sources, mainly reports by USDA agriculture attachés. We identified our data sources and explained in detail our methodologies and our legal reasoning. After four years of research, I am confident in the accuracy of our analysis.