Agri Business

Australia steps up sugar trade fight with India, moves WTO

PTI Melbourne | Updated on July 12, 2019

Australia has intensified its sugar related dispute with India by formally asking World Trade Organisation (WTO) to set up a panel to probe if the world’s second-largest sugar producer was breaching its obligations, a media report said Friday.

In March, Australia was joined by Brazil to lodge a formal complaint against India with the WTO, alleging that India’s continued sugar subsidies to farmers have led to a “glut” and “depressed” global prices.

Probe panel sought

Australia, along with Brazil and Guatemala, asked the WTO to set up the dispute panel to probe if India was breaching its obligations.

Australian Financial Review report quoted Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham as saying, “India has not taken concrete action in response to Australia’s long-held concerns and continues to provide subsidies in breach of its WTO commitments.”

“The longer these unfair subsidies continue, the greater the impact will be on our hardworking Australian cane growers and millers and the regional jobs they create,” he said. It says India’s subsidies have contributed to a global sugar glut and hurt Australian farmers.

Job loss alleged

Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie said, “This is about protecting over 40,000 jobs and the regional communities that are supported by our sugar industry.”

The Australian government’s latest action is to support its 2 billion dollar sugar export sector. The federal government action has been welcomed by local cane growers and millers.

Published on July 12, 2019

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