Saturday 17th Aug, 2019

Australia amplifies actions against illegal Indian sugar subsidies

The Federal Government has intensified its actions against illegal Indian sugar subsidies, backed by the Australian sugar industry.
Photo: Shutterstock

The Federal Government has intensified its actions against illegal Indian sugar subsidies, backed by the Australian sugar industry.

A joint request by Australia, Brazil and Guatemala has been lodged with the World Trade Organisation’s Dispute Settlement Body in an effort to form a WTO Panel. The panel will examine and rule on whether the high sugarcane prices and export sugar subsidies in India surpass the standards set by WTO.

The ramping up of pressure from Trade Minister Birmingham is very positive news according to Paul Schembri, Chairman of Canegrowers.

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“WTO rules are of little use if they are not enforced. We applaud Australia, Brazil and Guatemala taking this action, standing up for our efficient sugarcane industries. It is important that the WTO Panel now be established quickly, and the process run expeditiously,” Schembri said.

Australia was first to raise this issue in 2018 and the government’s push for an investigative panel is the next important step in making India accountable for its trade disrupting sugar policies.