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WTO panel tells India to comply with global trade rules on sugar

Workers harvest sugarcane in a filed in Gove village in the western state of Maharashtra, India, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Rajendra Jadhav

GENEVA, Dec 14 – A World Trade Organization panel ruled in favour of Brazil, Australia and Guatemala on Tuesday in their trade disputes with India over sugar subsidies and asked New Delhi to conform with global rules.

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In the cases brought before the WTO in 2019, the rival producers alleged that India had broken WTO rules by providing excessive domestic support and export subsidies for sugar and sugarcane.

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“We recommend that India bring its WTO-inconsistent

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measures into conformity with its obligations under the Agreement on Agriculture and the SCM (Subsidies and Countervailing Measures) Agreement,” the panel said.

India, the world’s top sugar producer after Brazil, may appeal the decision. Its mission to the WTO in Geneva did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling in the conclusion of the panel’s 115-page report.

It found that for five sugar seasons between 2014-15 and 2018-19, India provided domestic support to its sugarcane producers in excess of the maximum level of 10% permitted by a global agriculture deal.

It also said that India failed to notify a WTO committee of its sugar export subsidies, violating a separate agreement.

However, the panel did not uphold one of Australia’s allegations that India had maintained buffer sugar stocks which it should have reported to the WTO in the 1990s.Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Stephanie Nebehay and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

REUTERS

DECEMBER 14, 2021

https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/wto-panel-asks-india-withdraw-subsidies-sugar-dispute-2021-12-14/

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