PN081105D

IMMEDIATE

TUESDAY 8 NOVEMBER 2005

ATTENTION: EDITORS/NEWS EDITORS/PLANNING/ TRADE/FARMING/POLITICAL CORRESPONDENTS

LORDS INQUIRY ON REFORMING EU'S UNLAWFUL EXPORT SUBSIDIES HEARS FROM WINNERS IN WTO RULING

A World Trade Organization (WTO) appeal panel ruled in favour of Brazil, Australia and Thailand, stating that certain EU export sugar subsidies were illegal under WTO rules.

The WTO ruling means that the EU must cease to export 4-5 million tonnes of sugar for which there is no market within the EU's own market. The EU Commission has now proposed reforms of its "sugar regime" which will cut guaranteed prices by 39% and provide compensation to farmers.

The House of Lords EU Environment and Agriculture Sub-Committee is examining these proposed reforms which are up for discussion at a meeting of EU Agriculture and Fisheries Ministers on 22-24 November and may be crucial in the run up to the WTO talks in December.

The Committee has heard evidence from the Agriculture Commissioner, African and Caribbean Ambassadors, UK Government Ministers, academics, processors and industrial sugar users, The Committee will now hear evidence from Guyana, Australia and Brazil.

Public Hearings − Wednesday 9 November

11 am (Committee Room 3a)

  • Dr Riyad Insanally, Senior Trade Adviser, Guyana High Commission, London and Commercial Representative, Guyana Sugar Corporation and Mr Barry Newton, former Managing Director of Booker Tate and Board Member of the Guyana Sugar Corporation.

11.45 am (Committee Room 3a)

  • His Excellency The Honourable Richard Alston, the Australian High Commissioner and Mr Greg Williamson, Minister-Counsellor (Agriculture);

  • Minister Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes, Head of the Economic Section of the Brazilian Embassy

For further information contact:

Suzanne Todd (Clerk to the Committee) on 020 7219 4579.

 [ENDS]