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WTO Help Aussie Farmers

Members of the WTO (World Trade Organisation) have agreed to abolish all agriculture export subsidies and put limits on the use of export finance programs that distort agricultural trade. Meeting at the WTO conference in Nairobi, Kenya, trade minister Andrew Robb said the historic agreement was a major win for Australian farmers and would bring an end to more than AUD 15 billion of agricultrual subsidies.

Mr Robb said, "For decades, export subsidies have threatened the livelihoods of Australian farmers...their abolition will permanently remove a long-standing source of distortion in global agricultural markets."

The deal will phase out export subsidies for agricultural commodities including sugar, beef, port, lamb, dairy, wheat, rice, wine, fruit, vegetables, processed foods and cotton.

All 163 members of the WTO also agreed to put limits, for the first time, on export finance programs that distort trade and agreed to conditions ensuring international food aid does not damage global trade or production in aid recipient countries.