“Ray of hope” for India to continue with disputed sugar export subsidy

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Brazil and Australia early this year alleged and lodged a complaint against India with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) that Indian sugar industry’s subsidies are harming the global sugar prices. However, looks like there is a ray of hope for the Indian sugar industry to carry on with its disputed sugar export subsidy scheme owing to WTO’s Appellate Body dysfunctional from tonight leaving resolutions on complaints pending.

With US halting the appointment of judges for over two years has paralyzed WTO’s Appellate Body from being functional. According to reports two members from the body are to retire today after the completion of the second term of four years, leaving only one member in the body. The organisation’s Appellate Body will discontinue to function leaving no resolution on the appeals, yet WTO will still be able to receive complaints about disputes in Trade.

The Appellate Body is compromised of seven members and requires a minimum of three members to hear appeals or pass a resolution. According to media reports, WTO will take a few months to make the Appellate Body functional and it is expected that this would happen probably after the completion of the US presidential elections in 2020.

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