The participants to the G8 meeting underlined the importance that poor countries are able to export their products to the rich world but did not set an end date for scrapping their agricultural export subsidies. Such subsidies significantly damage the agricultural sector of many developing countries Now the hopes of many pushing for freer trade concentrate on the next WTO Ministerial in Hong Kong at the end of the year. Earlier this year (28 April) the World Trade Organisation (WTO) declared that the EU subsidies to sugar exports contravene WTO rules. The ruling was followed by the drafting on June 22nd of the reform to the Common Market Organisation for sugar. The reform aim at reducing the overproduction of sugar by means of “a substantial two-step price cut coupled with a generous restructuring fund lasting four years” (Sugar Reform will offer EU producers long-term competitive future – press release)
In the ‘press release’ however, no mention is made of export subsidies
Will the WTO take stronger action against export subsidies? Is using taxpayers money to finance export subsidies efficient, socially and morally acceptable?
More on EU export subsidies to sugar at http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/trade/bn_eusugar.htm