End of European dairy export subsidies welcomed by Australian government

Posted by Isobel Drake on 23rd November 2009

Federal Trade Minister Simon Crean and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke have welcomed the decision by the European Union (EU) to end dairy export subsidies.

The EU introduced diary export subsidies in January this year and this was followed by the United States in May. The US Dairy Export Incentive Program remains in place.

The ministers said the decision was good news for Australian diary producers and another sign that protectionist measures were being wound back.

Mr Crean and Mr Burke urged the United States to do same and put an end to dairy export subsidies.

“Given that the US introduced dairy export subsidies in response to the EU introduction of subsidies, the US has no excuse to continue with this program,” Mr Crean suggested.

The European Dairy Management Committee last week decided to reduce the level of export subsidy refunds on butter and butter oil to zero. This means that export refunds for all dairy products are now set at zero.

The decision comes as a rise in world dairy prices helps spur a steady recovery in the industry.