The Hon. Mark Vaile, MP
FORMER MINISTER FOR TRADE

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Media release

Friday 27 September 2002 - MVT115/2002

Australia to Take the Sweetener out of EU Sugar

Australia will initiate a formal World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute challenge to European Union sugar subsidies today, Trade Minister Mark Vaile said.

"Australia will lodge a request for dispute consultations, the first step in the formal WTO dispute process, which would allow Australia to question the EU over its sugar subsidy program," Mr Vaile said.

"The EU's reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy have not included the EU sugar regime. This WTO action will force the EU to consider the interests of other sugar producers.

"I announced in August Australia's intention to launch this course of action and we will be seeking to schedule the first round of consultations in Geneva within the next month or so."

Australia's request identifies the following measures: EU export subsidies on sugar and products incorporating sugar in excess of its WTO export subsidy obligations; and discriminatory subsidies to EU refiners, in respect of its WTO National Treatment Obligations.

The consultation phase must last at least 60 days but can span several months. A decision on whether to proceed to a formal request for legal adjudication would be made after an assessment of developments in the consultation phase.

The action is being taken in consultation with Brazil which has launched a similar challenge.

"Australia is committed to pushing for reform of world trade so that our producers can compete in fair global markets as an efficient world class export industry."

"In taking this WTO dispute action, we are demonstrating our resolve to ensure Australian sugar producers are not impacted by discriminatory trade-distorting subsidies."

Media Contact: Mark Croxford +61 02 6277 7420


Local Date: Tuesday, 07-Jan-2014 10:01:00 EST

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