Journal: Brazil Whacks US via WTO on Cotton

01 Agriculture, 01 Brazil, 02 China, 03 India, 06 Russia, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Government

Brazil Wins WTO Approval to Sanction U.S. Over Cotton (Update2)

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) — Brazil won the World Trade Organization’s approval to start retaliating against the U.S. because of subsidies paid to American cotton farmers.

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.

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