Brazil Appeals to WTO Against US Farm Subsidies

US corn field Brazil has decided to place an inquiry at the Dispute Settlement Body at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the United States financial support granted to farmers between 1999 and 2005.

The request for the inquiry on the United States was placed at the WTO on Tuesday, July 10, in Geneva (Switzerland). The government of Brazil states that the subsidies granted by the North Americans in the period were above the yearly US$ 19 billion limit granted by the WTO.

The Brazilian decision takes into consideration the same inquiry placed by Canada. It was also influenced by the impasse in the negotiations of the WTO Doha Rounds, according to the undersecretary general for Economic and Technological Affairs at the Brazilian Foreign Office (Itamaraty), Roberto Azevedo.

Earlier this month, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva speaking at the Progressive Governance Summit that he attended in South Africa on the last stop of his five-day trip to Africa, once again called for reduced farm subsidies in rich nations. This, according to Lula, would allow poorer nations to export their agricultural produce with better results.

Heads of state from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sweden and South Korea, along with the head of the World Trade Organization, Pascoal Lamy, and the EU trade negotiator, Peter Mendelson, participated in the summit.

Lula also suggested that biodiesel could stimulate growth in poor nations. He said rich nations could finance its production and then buy the product, creating a mutually beneficial rich-poor nation relationship.

Lula added that it is becoming more obvious to all that poor nations can contribute to world trade, as well as science and technology. He said Brazil was willing to assist the less favored.

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