The Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Roberto Rodrigues, says he considers noncompliance by the US with World Trade Organization rulings on its cotton subsidies a remote possibility.
“We are on the eve of the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference (the meeting will happen December 13 to 18) in Hong Kong. If the Americans do not comply there will be no meeting. How are we supposed to discuss the future of international commerce if the world’s biggest trading nation, the most important in farm produce, does not obey a WTO decision? I feel certain this will not happen.
“However,” the Minister added, “in the remote possibility that there is noncompliance, we will retaliate. We are studying our options in the area of retaliatory action. We are looking at other products, for example.”
The comments by the Minister were made at the Second World Coffee Conference, which is taking place in Salvador, Bahia, and came a week after the expiration of a deadline set by the WTO Dispute Settlement Panel for the US to remove its cotton subsidies.
The deadline was established six months after the panel ruled in favor of Brazil in the complaint it made against the US cotton subsidies. That ruling was final and cannot be appealed.