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USA retains dairy subsidies, Australia disappointed

USA retains dairy subsidies, Australia disappointed article image

The USA has decided to extend its dairy export subsidies by another year, despite strong objections from other nations, including Australia. Australian Minister for Agriculture Tony Burke expressed disappointment at the decision. Currently touring the US, Burke met with US Trade Representative Ron Kirk earlier this week and spoke with Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack yesterday. "Australia will continue to make sure the United States understands our strong objections to this decision and to call on the US to show better leadership on this issue," said Burke. "As we said when the subsidy was first introduced, this undermines commitments made by G20 leaders not to impose protectionist measures." Burke had concerns that the move could trigger other countries to start imposing similar restrictions, with wider consequences: "Protectionism has no place in a global community which faces unprecedented agricultural challenges such as climate change and a growing world food shortage." Travelling in the delegation, Australian Dairy Farmers president Allan Burgess supported Burke's position: "There is no place for inward-looking protectionism at a time when global jobs and the global food supply depend on free agricultural trade. "After the US indicating they would try to avoid Australia’s key dairy export markets in South East Asia, it was disappointing to see the reports this week about US products being dumped in these Asian markets."

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