Trade not so sweet

AUSTRALIA will join Brazil and Thailand in requesting a World Trade Organisation panel examine whether EU export subsidies comply with world trade rules.

"The EU is currently exporting highly subsidised sugar, distorting world markets to the detriment of sugar exporters worldwide, including Australia," Trade Minister Mark Vaile said.

"Australian sugar producers depend on the world market for approximately 80 per cent of their incomes and are probably more exposed to world price movement than any other sugar exporter.

"Australia’s sugar industry fully supports the Government’s action and has provided valuable input to the development of our case."

Mr Vaile said Australia was also concerned at the distortions caused by the sugar regimes of other developed countries, including the United States and Japan, and that those concerns were being pursued through bilateral and multilateral channels.

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