More bad times ahead for American sugar producers?

By staff writer

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: International trade, World trade organization

As WTO talks loom, the American sugar industry, badly hit by the
recent hurricanes in the south, prepares for further hard line
negotiations.

The next WTO meeting in the Doha round is scheduled for December. American sugar farmers fear this will mean cuts in subsidies they receive from the government.

The argument for cuts to agricultural subsidies is to make a fairer, more level playing field in terms of agricultural trade for developing nations.

But US farmers feel if these plans were to go through, it would be wholly unfair.

Natural disasters aside, they are still reeling from losing out on the Central America Free Trade Pact (CAFTA) earlier this year.

This allowed for imports to enter the US, opening up the market and increasing competition. The controversial bill passed by only two votes.

Sugar farmers from southern states such as Louisiana, where hurricanes Katrina and Rita decimated crops in the last two months, could use these misfortunes to gain more leverage when lobbying the government prior to WTO talks.

The US, the world' fifth largest producer of sugar, has been heavily criticised by developing countries for its protectionist attitude, accused by some as short sighted.

Related topics: Commodities, Cocoa & Sugar

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