Global Sugar Alliance London 2019 Communique

WTO moves against sugar subsidies welcome

28 November 2019

Sugar subsidies continue to depress the world sugar price and are imposing an enormous cost on the world’s most efficient sugar producers.

Meeting in London today the Global Sugar Alliance celebrated its 20-year anniversary. The Global Sugar Alliance was born in Seattle in 1999 when like-minded countries (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, South Africa and Thailand) representing 85% of the world’s cane sugar trade came together to ensure the world’s most efficient producers received a fair price for their efforts.

Global Sugar Alliance members reaffirmed their commitment to use all avenues available to stamp out export subsidies and remove trade distorting domestic price supports.

The sugar price supports and export subsidies paid by the Indian government are in violation of the India’s commitments to the world community made in the WTO.

“We fully support the case Australia, Brazil and Guatemala have taken in the WTO. We look forward to a swift resolution of this matter and call on India to consider alternative, non-trade distorting, solutions to deal with its subsidised surplus sugar production,” Global Sugar Alliance Chairman, and Managing Director QSL, Greg Beashel said.

“Brazil is working closely with India, exchanging ideas and technology to contribute to the development of an Indian ethanol industry. Ethanol will offer India a strong viable alternative to sugar production for its surplus sugarcane. It will also help to reduce pollution and improve air quality in India’s major cities,’ Eduardo Leão de Sousa, Executive Director UNICA.

Leopoldo Bolaños, International Trade, Guatemalan Sugar Association: “Improved trading conditions are in everyone’s interests. We encourage India to work with us and comply with its commitments.”

“The increase in India’s sugar supports and the European Union’s Voluntary Coupled Support (VCS) payments to the sugar industry have set agricultural reform back, at a time when the WTO institution itself is under pressure,” Sandra Marsden, President, Canadian Sugar Institute.

The Global Sugar Alliance is urging our governments to work together as a matter of urgency to solve the India sugar dispute and strengthen the WTO,” Vibul Panitvong, Chairman of the Executive Board, Thai Sugar Millers Corporation said.

“Our priority is to secure a world in which sugar can be traded freely across regional and global markets. This means reducing border protection, remove trade distorting domestic supports and eliminating export subsidies”, Greg Beashel said.