labels: trade
Brazil moves WTO against US subsidies, tax breaksnews
13 July 2007

Mumbai: Brazil has approached the World Trade Organisation complaining against American subsidies, gasoline rebates, tax breaks and export credits since 2001 - lodging its broadest attack against US trade barriers.

Government payments that support prices for wheat, rice, oats, hogs, sheep, beef and dairy products in the US may have exceeded the combined spending allowed by the WTO, Brazil said.

Under WTO rules, the US is allowed to spend a maximum of $19.1 billion a year on such assistance. US farm subsidies stayed below that ceiling until 2001 after which it hasn''t filed any spending figures with the Geneva-based WTO, Brazil said in its complaint.

``Available public information indicates that the domestic support that the US provided exceeded its commitment levels,'''' Brazil''s WTO ambassador Clodoaldo Hugueney wrote to his US counterpart Peter Allgeier.

The complaint comes after the collapse of negotiations among the US, the EU, India and Brazil to reach an agreement on the course of the Doha Round of global trade talks.
Developing countries led by India and Brazil have sought a reduction in rich nations'' farm subsidies and tariffs on commodity imports. Brazil wanted the US to lower its spending below a $17 billion offer.

Brazil has already led successful WTO complaints against US cotton programmes worth about $4 billion a year.

Last month, Canada had sought WTO intervention to settle a claim that the US is exceeding the $19.1 billion annual cap on farm subsidies.

Brazil ''s complaint is in the form of a request for negotiations to resolve the dispute. If the parties fail to resolve the dispute in at least two months and consultations fail, Brazil can seek a WTO ruling on the dispute.

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Brazil moves WTO against US subsidies, tax breaks