Brazil-U.S. cotton dispute heats up

Stephen Beard Aug 27, 2008
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Brazil-U.S. cotton dispute heats up

Stephen Beard Aug 27, 2008
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Scott Jagow: The U.S. and Brazil have battled over cotton subsidies for about six years now. The U.S. has been losing, and things might get a lot worse. Today, Brazil said it will ask the World Trade Organization to punish the U.S. with billions of dollars in sanctions. Stephen Beard has more.


Stephen Beard: This long-running dispute over American cotton is coming to a head. The WTO has decided the U.S. is still breaking the rules by subsidizing its cotton exports. Brazil — the main complainant — wants blood.

The country has asked the WTO again to authorize up to $4 billion worth of sanctions against the U.S. If approved, this would mean Brazil raising its tariffs on a range of different American imports by that amount. That could be quite a blow — especially to American companies that own intellectual property rights in things like computer software. Brazil wants to target things like copyright and trademarks.

The U.S. says the WTO ruling is unfair. A final decision on the level of sanctions is expected later this year.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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