Brazilian exports of concentrated orange juice to the United States are worth around US$ 1.5 billion annually. The country exports 12% to 15% of its total production to the US.
Now the US Department of Commerce has officially accused Brazil of dumping – selling its concentrated orange juice in the US at a price below that on the Brazilian domestic market.
The president of the Orange Exporters Association (Associação Brasileira dos Exportadores de Cítricos) (Abecitrus), Ademerval Garcia, denies the charge and points out that US legislation on dumping does not comply with World Trade Organization norms.
Since August 2005, the US has levied an "anti-dumping" surtax on Brazil’s concentrated orange juice of 24% to 60%. According to Garcia, that raises the price to the point where American consumers stop buying orange juice and move to other juices. "The surtax is harmful to the market," says the Abecitrus president.
The case against Brazil’s concentrated orange juice will go to a final judgment in February. If the Department of Commerce wins, the surtaxes will continue. Otherwise, they will be removed.
The outcome of the US Department of Commerce’s anti-dumping case against Brazilian concentrated orange juice exports is not expected to affect domestic production, says Garcia, who explains that most of the sector exports go to Europe. He reports that the sector employs some 400,000 workers.
According to Garcia, the Brazilian government has been following the case and will go into action if World Trade Organization norms are infringed.
"If that happens, the government will make a complaint at the WTO and we in the orange export sector will fully support the measure," declared Garcia.