Caribbean industry is concerned over uncertainties
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CTA. 2003. Caribbean industry is concerned over uncertainties. Agritrade, June 2003. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/52556
The board of directors of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean meeting on May...
The board of directors of the Sugar Association of the Caribbean meeting on May 15-16th 2003 noted 'the uncertainties surrounding the future of the European Union's sugar policy after 2006 and that long-term stability in respect of this policy is vital for the implementation of the ACP-EU Sugar Protocol and the SPS Agreement'. Areas of uncertainty include: the outcome of the WTO challenge to the EU 'C' export system; reform of the EU sugar regime; the impact of EU enlargement; the impact of the full implementation of the EBA sugar arrangement; the outcome of the EPA negotiations. These uncertainties are affecting long-term planning and restructuring plans. The directors committed themselves to seeking the 'maintenance of the current level of tariff preferences for African Caribbean and Pacific countries' and a 'fairly managed sugar market in the EU'. Comment: With Commissioner Fischler indicating that, for sectors not yet subject to reform, new proposals would 'follow the general lines of the present proposals', some decline in the EU sugar price appears inevitable. With tariffs being based on the difference between the EU and world market price, this is likely to result in reduced tariffs on sugar imports and hence in erosion of the tariff preferences that ACP exports currently enjoy. For ACP suppliers this issue is more about the value of the preferences per se (how much money you will get per tonne of sugar exported under a reformed sugar regime) rather than the margin of tariff preference. While during the transitional period the EU is likely to opt for a managed sugar regime, Commissioner Fischler has indicated that ultimately the Commission would like to see sugar included in the de-coupled single farm payment system. This implies the ultimate abandonment of a managed sugar regime, possibly as early as 2009.