WTO backs Australia and others on Indian sugar | Examiner


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A World Trade Organization panel ruled in favor of Brazil, Australia and Guatemala in their trade disputes with India over sugar subsidies and called on New Delhi officials to comply with the rules global. In cases brought to the WTO in 2019, rival producers alleged India had violated WTO rules by providing excessive domestic support and export subsidies for sugar and cane. “We recommend that India bring its WTO-inconsistent measures into conformity with its obligations under the Agreement on Agriculture and the SCM Agreement (Subsidies and Countervailing Measures),” said the Minister. panel. India, the world’s second-largest sugar producer after Brazil, said later on Tuesday it would appeal the findings of the panel’s 115-page report. The WTO said that for five sugar seasons between 2014-15 and 2018-19, India provided support to its sugar cane producers beyond the maximum level of 10 percent allowed by a global agricultural agreement. He also said India failed to notify a WTO committee of its sugar export subsidies, in violation of a separate agreement. However, the panel disregarded one of Australia’s claims that India had maintained buffer stocks of sugar that it should have reported to the WTO in the 1990s. Trade and Industry said in a statement that the panel report was “unacceptable” and would have no impact on current sugar policies. He said the WTO conclusions were “wrong” and “unjustified”. Brazilian sugar industry group Unica said the report recognizes trade distortions caused by India’s sugar policies. He said Brazil and India are collaborating on issues such as the use of cane-based ethanol and believe the two countries will find a “collaborative solution” to the problem. WTO rulings can take a long time to have an effect on trade. But if the rulings are upheld after the appeals, the winning side could face retaliatory measures such as the imposition of higher tariffs on imports from the convicted country. Associated Australian Press



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