The United States will challenge Thailand over rice subsidies at a World Trade Organisation (WTO) committee meeting next week, fearful that a government-sponsored crop could land up on the world market and depress prices, hurting US exporters.
But Thai authorities are not worried by the move, saying agricultural subsidies have not violated WTO regulations.
The government's rice-pledging scheme, under which rice is purchased from farmers at above market prices, is expected to raise output, but has also been blamed for a slump in rice exports. Thailand now risks being dethroned as the world's top rice exporter in favour of India or Vietnam.
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