Australia, Brazil and Thailand called on Monday for the immediate withdrawal of an additional export of 500,000 tonnes of out-of-quota sugar by the EU, saying it was illegal under World Trade Organisation rules.
And the three states, who won a WTO dispute against the EU over its sugar export subsidies five years ago, warned that they did not rule out any further action, including the possibility of reopening the case which could lead to retaliation.
The European Union's executive commission announced the extra sugar exports in the current 2009/10 marketing year last week. [ID:nLDE60Q1CM]
A statement by the three sugar exporters said the extra 500,000 tonnes meant EU sugar exports in the current year could reach 1.85 mln tonnes, 576,500 tonnes more than the 1.27 million tonne ceiling the EU is committed to under WTO agreements.
The EU argues its ceiling is some 100,000 tonnes higher because of its expansion to 27 from 15 members since the current WTO agriculture agreement was signed.
But the EU commission said it had done a careful analysis which showed the quantities authorised for export did not benefit from any subsidy and so could not be counted as part of the subsidised exports the EU is allowed under WTO rules.
"We are absolutely, 100 percent confident that this is completely legal and does not in any way violate our WTO commitments," said Michael Mann, commission spokesman for agriculture.
ReutersLast Mod: 01 Şubat 2010, 21:37