The WTO gave Brazil permission in August to impose $294.7 million in sanctions against U.S. goods — the second-highest amount ever permitted by the Geneva-based trade arbiter — and Brazil’s government earlier this month released a list of 222 products that may be subject to increased duties. The list includes cotton and other agricultural and textile products as well as U.S. exports such as electronics, cosmetics, ketchup, cars, chewing gum, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.
WTO judges found in September 2004 that as much as $4 billion in annual U.S. payments to cotton farmers violated global trade rules by encouraging excess production and driving down world prices. In June 2008, they upheld a finding that the U.S., the world’s largest exporter of the fiber, hadn’t done enough to scrap aid to its cotton producers.
Phi Beta Iota: “Because we say so” is no longer cutting it. The military power of the USA will be relatively helpless in the face of public pressure based on facts. We anticipate a Voice TO America emerging from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China), and we anticipate those four countries becoming “Smart Nations” before the USA realizes what Alvin Toffler was trying to communicate in Powershift–Knowledge, Wealth, and Violence at the Edge of the 21st Century (see especially the chapter on The Future of the Spy), and 2006 THE SMART NATION ACT: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest (the book) as well as 1995 GIQ 13/2 Creating a Smart Nation: Strategy, Policy, Intelligence, and Information (the article). The good news is that bottom-up public participatory planning, programming, and budgeting (PPBS) is here to stay; the bad news is that the USA is still does not “get it” at any level of leadership.