Can’t get India to buy our wheat

Miranda Kennedy Nov 22, 2006
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Can’t get India to buy our wheat

Miranda Kennedy Nov 22, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: The country’s agriculture secretary is in India this week. He wants India to open up its markets to U.S. farm products, especially wheat. Miranda Kennedy reports from New Delhi.


MIRANDA KENNEDY: This year India’s wheat crop failed to meet domestic consumption needs for the first time in seven years.

Even so, the country refused to buy U.S. wheat to make up for the shortfall. That’s because of strict health standards in India, and the only country that’s been successful in meeting them is Australia.

The health standard issue is one of many that Agricultural Secretary Mike Johanns addressed.

MIKE JOHANNS: Every study that has looked at this said the hope for lifting the world economy and lifting millions of people out of poverty is going to come from improved market access.

Right now, India exports five times more farm products to the U.S. than the U.S. does to India. That’s because India imposes hefty tariffs on farm products to protect its own farmers.

And when the U.S. talks about better market access, the Indian government points out that the U.S. has some pretty serious subsidy protections for its own wheat and corn farmers.

In New Delhi, I’m Miranda Kennedy for Marketplace.

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