A ruling by the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute panel allowing Brazil to retaliate against the United States to the tune of over US$ 800 million per year has been put on hold for at least 60 days.
The pause is part of the ruling, which took eight years for the WTO to reach. It permits the parties to engage in further discussions.
After discussions, the Americans agreed to three points. First, they will immediately reexamine the US farm subsidy program. Second, they will recognize the state of Santa Catarina as a foot-and-mouth free zone without vaccination, three years after the World Animal Health Organization did so, making it possible for Santa Catarina to export meat to the US.
And, third, they promise to create a fund of US$ 147 million to finance a program to assist Brazilian cotton growers.
Meanwhile, African cotton growers, who did not join Brazil in the case against the US cotton subsidies at the WTO – a very expensive legal process – have expressed a desire to get a share of the US$ 147 million fund. While Brazil was harmed by US cotton subsidies, they wiped out cotton growers in many small African countries.
Haroldo Cunha, president of the Brazilian Cotton Growers Association (Abrapa), says he wants the funds to be shared by the Brazilian government and the private sector (no mention of Africans).
But, says Cunha, the US negotiators are insisting that the money should go to American research institutions.
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