Brazil Ready to Punish the US: US$ 560 Million in Tariffs on 222 Products

Drugs in BrazilIn response to protectionist measures adopted by the U.S. government in the cotton sector and after winning its case brought to the World Trade Organization seven year ago, the Brazilian government is ready to retaliate against the US and has already prepared a list of products that will be subject to retaliation.

The Chamber of Foreign Commerce (Camex), an organ linked to Brazil’s Ministry of Development, Industry and Commerce, approved this Tuesday a trade retaliation against the United States valued at approximately US$ 560 million. The final list is expected March 1st.

222 American products imported by Brazil should face additional tariff barriers to enter the Brazilian market. In some cases, the good will double its price due to the levy. No date has been set for the new rates to take effect, however.

Brazil accuses the U.S. government of giving excessive subsidies to their cotton producers undermining the Brazilian producer. The dispute between the two countries in the WTO started in 2002.

The executive secretary of Camex, Lytha Spíndola, informed that the list will be made public March 1st because it needs to go through “technical adjustments.”

This way Camex is giving the United States 20 extra days to cut its subsidies to cotton, which would suspend the punishment. Nobody is expecting the US to change its behavior, however.

The Brazilian government argues also that it needs time to complete the other part of the retaliation, which will be used especially against U.S. companies in the pharmaceutical industry, through suspension of patents or royalties.

Health Minister, José Sócrates, said yesterday that he had submitted to Camex “a set of drugs” that could be targets of such sanctions. “The decision still needs to be thought out by the entire team of government,” he added.

Brazil had the option to retaliate up to about US$ 900 million, according to the WTO decision, but preferred to exclude from the list capital goods and inputs so as not to harm the Brazilian industry that needs to import machines and equipment.

The Brazilian government is also considering a so-called cross-retaliation by which it would impose retaliatory measures not only against products but also against services and even intellectual property.

The new United States ambassador in Brazil, Thomas Shannon, commented last week that “retaliation is always bad, because they generate counter-retaliation.”


  • Show Comments (16)

  • dnb

    [quote]. Do you think the people who invented Al Queada and nurtured OBL cannot turn your Olympiad into a party for the worlds worst terrorists?[/quote]

    Never thought of this.. and highly plausible. Ideal place to start the show in the minds of the “powers that be”. I’d put a lot of money on that exactly happening…….:o

  • Andrade

    [quote]Lyod Cata: for some reason, I suspect you are not really American but someone posing and trying to stir hostility. Maybe I am wrong, but your post was amusing as a theatrical piece, but I suspect you are not really American. I can’t imagine any real americans saying such outlandish boastful bullshit.[/quote]

    He is the ex boss of SAVAK currently in exile in the U.S.

  • hunh?

    jc: don’t get me wrong. I agree with you and the general idea that the US and other countries need to follow international trade laws. Hell, the last thing I would want to defend is business interests in the US. I am sure they are looking to make a deal like most. But my point was more about the language of “punishing” the US and turning it into some kind of jingoistic grudge between the US and Brazil. Also, as other posts here have claimed: it is a two way street and certainly Brazil is not the innocent babe in the woods here.

  • twinkle twinkle

    Brazil is going to impose retaliatory measures against the US over intellectual property?
    This is confusing. From what I remember of Brazil, next to China, the people were alway burning music CDs and photo-copying entire books without the slightest regard for intellectual property rights. Hell, I was amazed to see how many professors at USP (Sao Paulo) would matter of factly copy an entire book, without even thinking that this could be them: someone in a another country could be photo-copying their book so that they never made a centavo from years of hard work. [quote]The Brazilian government is also considering a so-called cross-retaliation by which it would impose retaliatory measures not only against products but also against services and even intellectual property.[/quote]
    Capnamerca: yes, I agree: the taxes on imports to Brazil are already insanely excessive. It’s a sad day when a graduate student/researcher needs to ride a bus for 14 hours to Paraguay to buy a computer, then have to sneak it back into Brazil to avoid paying taxes. Yes, only the ordinary middle class Brazilian is hurt by such taxes. And, yes, it does seem a bit hypocritical to talk about protectionism when such taxes seem clearly designed to protect Brazilian industry. Yet, I gather the real purpose is just to raise revenue: Brazil doesn’t have it’s own computer industry, so why would you need to tax companies who import there? Anyway, very nice summary.

    Lyod Cata: for some reason, I suspect you are not really American but someone posing and trying to stir hostility. Maybe I am wrong, but your post was amusing as a theatrical piece, but I suspect you are not really American. I can’t imagine any real americans saying such outlandish boastful bullshit. In fact it sounds more like the loud-mouthed idiotic hyperbolic style of fried chc and other jingoistic morons so common to this site.

  • fired chc

    and [b]Captain Merda[/b]:

    Your gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn’t coming…. You’re so dense that light bends around you!



  • fired chc

    [b]Lloyd Caca[/b] …. What did you say??? little Fidel’ in Caracus?

    Maybe in yours, not mine! Then you said Columbia? What the fuk!

    I know of Colombia, Columbia I think is the space shuttle!

    Anyways, in your way out… don’t let the door hit you where the good lord split you!



  • Capnamerca

    Once again . . .
    The penis envy over the economic stature of the U.S. has reached epidemic proportions. The second world believes the great “harlot” is on it’s knees and headed for the pit of darkness, never to again rear it’s ugly head in the light of the sun.

    Kick ’em while they’re down, and maybe we can put an end to the tyranny of the the great beast which has made life hell on earth since the birth of western democracy.

    LOL . . . I do find this attitude somewhat ridiculous. I for one, am not proud of the direction of current U.S. foreign policy, but all the hatred and envy is becoming just so much noise.

    Hooray for Brazil in their quest to become a first world country. The Brazilian people deserve a much better life than what they currently have, and I only hope all of the future wealth of industrialization works it’s way throughout the entire social ladder of the country.

    But, to be totally honest, I haven’t seen any evidence that anyone on the top rungs of the ladder here in Brazil has any intention of allowing that to happen. Just who do you think is going to suffer from these trade wars? The North Americans? LOL . . . NO ! ! ! The Brazilian elite? LOL . . . Double NO ! ! ! It will only be the Brazilian citizens who have to pay those extra import taxes. They’re already gouging Brazilians worse than anything I’ve ever seen on import taxes. Brazil government has a lot of nerve calling the U.S. protectionist.

    If it weren’t for the outrageous impostos on electronics, most of the Brazilians could buy computers and the nice TVs if it weren’t for the taxes, and it would stimulate the economy greatly, but of course the govt doesn’t want inflation. LOL . . .

  • Lloyd Cata

    Perhaps You Don’t Quite Understand……
    Before you celebrate your new-found balls to stand up to the ‘only’ superpower on the planet maybe we should review what the hell you think your doing;

    1) You encourage the ‘little Fidel’ in Caracus
    2) You interfere in our coup in Honduras
    3) You purchase the inferior French armaments for what you call a military
    4) You suck up to the insane mullahs in Iran
    5) Now you pretend to ‘punish’ America for unfair trade

    What the hell!!! Have you lost your damn mind!?1? Don’t you know, have you forgotten, that we buy, sell, destroy, and resurrect societies around the world? Do you think we are so weak that you can “dedo polegar seu nariz” at the greatest power the world has ever known?

    Sadly, there is a lesson in your future. Idiots…We will make you suffer so badly that father will turn against son, and mother against daughter, and dogs will turn from your food. Do you think the people who invented Al Queada and nurtured OBL cannot turn your Olympiad into a party for the worlds worst terrorists? Think again, long and hard, before you get carried away with your pretense of machismo.

    …. and that will be the ‘diplomatic’ language. Prepare for the destabilization which has already begun in the US media. Do you know what is being whispered on Wall Street?:-):D;-) Our 7 dirty sisters(bases) in Columbia will fornicate with your generals until you are once again in line with the military and economic forces of the Empire. *** Long Live Democracy ***

  • jc

    I agree with you that the title of the article was screwed up… but not the content
    I don’t think Brazilians dream of becoming any other country whether but themselves. But what you are saying is that is not possible unless the US can create and break any rule they wish as long as it is in their favor. Wow that makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? Yes ” Einstein hugh” these rules are based on Geo politics and Macroeconomics… what do you think this is??
    This is the end of my conversation with you…get a job and a life.

  • Zulu

    Big deal
    We allready have trade barriers in Brasil. Why do you think we pay more than double for anything from cars to laptops. Allmost all imports have at least a 50% tax so a little more who cares after all its only us the consumers that suffer.

  • fired chc

    What goes around comes around…. Tio Sam, now is your turn!

    America, Land of the Fee and Home of the Slave!


  • hunh?

    Punish the US? I didn’t even get past that title for me to suspect this is another case where Brazilians, bitter and resentful, dreaming about replacing the US as a super-power, drool at any prospect of punishing the US. Can’t Brazil imagine a more cooperative relation with the US rather than politicizing every little issue for jingoistic purposes? I wouldn’t begrudge super-power status to any new rising country, but I would prefer if they were going to constantly attack the US as immoral, they present at least an equivalent or higher moral vision of society, economy and politics. Yet, I don’t see this in Brazil. Just green with envy and bitterness. Quite ironic to see the anti-american attitudes on this site, when in contrast, most Americans just think positively about Brazilians, wishing their country the best.

  • jc

    Hooray to you too caganacueca !
    I suppose that asking you to understand the concept of “trade principles” is a little too much, isn’t it?
    Brazil didn’t make the rules … !!! The fact of the matter is that the US keeps getting cote quite often these days in ilegal protectionism. No Guilherme the easiest way was to let it go one more time without any consequences at all.
    980 miIlion dollars is a lot of money specially for a Sector of the economy that is already in big trouble (otherwise there would be no reason to break the rules)

  • fergie

    I say the US should put a tariff on all money that Brazilians are sending home grom the US.

  • Guilherme Martins

    Stupid Move
    I am perhaps the biggest hater of simple retaliation. I disagree with my government about this matter because the move does not bring any mutual benefit, which I believe should be the goal whenever possible, or even any benefit to us! As far as this article tells me, Brazil did not seek talks with the US to resolve the matter, and to me it becomes clear that Brazil is always going to jump on the easiest option, which is not always the most diplomatic one. This is the perfect picture of a government lead by a union leader: point fingers and attack first, maybe talk later.

  • Capnamerca

    Hooray . . . .
    For Brazil on this one. Who wins? The Brazilian farm workers still get paid in peanuts. The prices of U.S. goods go up for Brazilian families. The U.S. cotton farmers suffer nothing. $980 million is nothing for the U.S. government. The Brazilian governmnent is going to steal the patent formulas from the U.S. pharmaceuticals? I doubt you’ll see many Americans crying about that other than the pharmaceutical executives.

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