Brazil takes India to WTO on sugar subsidies

Brazil claimed that India has significantly increased government support to sugarcane farmers and industries

Vakkas Dogantekin   | 18.07.2019
Brazil takes India to WTO on sugar subsidies


Brazil along with other major sugar producing countries has sought establishment of a dispute panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO), to discuss violations of global trade rules by India. 

The major sugar producing countries are up against India, for disbursing subsidies to sugar farmers, according to Indian news agency, the Press Trust India.

“Brazil respectfully requests that the dispute settlement body establish a panel,” said a communication submitted by Brazilian officials, to the Geneva-based WTO.

Brazil claimed that India has significantly increased the level of government support to sugarcane famers and sugar industries. It claimed that New Delhi has doubled the fair and remunerative price for sugarcane, which is the minimum price that domestic sugar factories, must pay to sugarcane producers.

Brazil also said that some Indian provinces pay higher minimum prices for sugarcane. Both countries are important members of BRICS – the association of five major emerging national economies including Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Brazil has filed dispute under various provisions governing the WTO’s Agreement on Agriculture, Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

Quoting government officials, Indian media reported that the country will not abandon offering sugar export subsidies, despite complaint filed at the WTO. The officials, however, said they were willing to listen to the WTO experts for guidance.

The WTO has one of the most active international dispute settlement mechanisms in the world, with over 350 rulings on 500 disputes since 1995.

According to the WTO website, appeals are handled by a permanent seven-member Appellate Body, which is set up by the Dispute Settlement Body and broadly represents a range of WTO membership.

At the 2001 Doha Ministerial Conference, the WTO members had agreed to negotiate, to improve and clarify the Dispute Settlement Understanding — the rules and procedures governing the settlement of the WTO disputes.

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