A World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Aug. 31 made it possible for Brazil to impose sanctions against U.S. goods and services to compensate for U.S. subsidies paid to its cotton growers.
The announcement comes nearly two months after a WTO ruling in which judges upheld a panel’s finding that the U.S. hadn’t done enough to scrap spending in its cotton market. In September 2004, WTO ruled that up to $4 billion in annual cotton payments from the U.S. broke trade rules and ultimately drove the price of cotton worldwide, hampering other cotton-producing nations.
In March of this year, Brazil asked the WTO to approve as much as $2.55 billion in sanctions on goods as well as intellectual property rights and services. U.S. officials argued that $20 million to $30 million was more appropriate, in response to which Brazil threatened to suspend market access concessions for American providers of services in several industries.
The National Cotton Council of America has issued its official response to the WTO ruling. Bloomberg and the Associated Press have more on this developing story.
(Source: Cotton Grower Extra, sister publication to CropLife eNews)