The US department of agriculture has indicated that it will extend its support for dairy exporters for another year.

The Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) is designed to help US dairy exporters meet prevailing world prices and encourage the development of international export markets.

However, critics have suggested that the subsidy programme is protectionist, placing international competitors at a disadvantage.

Announcing the move, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack insisted that the DEIP was “fully consistent with our WTO commitments”.

“Our international markets continue to erode and the European Union has shown no indication that it will refrain from providing dairy export subsidies. We will continue to use this program in a responsible manner in support of US dairy farmers,” he added.