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EU Sugar Reform Must Comply with WTO Ruling

EU Sugar Reform Must Comply with WTO Ruling

The Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, today welcomed the European Union's announcement about reforming its sugar sector, saying it is a positive step towards meeting its World Trade Organization commitments by May 22 2006.

The Council of the European Union announced overnight in Brussels that it had reached agreement on reforming the EU sugar sector.

"Sugar remains one of the world's most heavily distorted trade sectors, so reform is long overdue," Mr Vaile said.

"The successful WTO action that Australia, Brazil and Thailand took against EU sugar export subsidies is one of the factors in the EU reform."

Mr Vaile emphasised that the EU must still comply fully with the WTO rulings against it and reduce its exports of subsidised sugar by 22 May 2006 - the date set by the WTO.

"This announcement is a positive step that will be welcomed by Australian cane growers, who can look forward to less distortion in the world sugar market in the longer term."

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