The announcement came just after 9 p.m. Tuesday in Washington and
postpones for at least 60 days Brazil’s imposition of millions of
dollars in higher tariffs on American goods and services authorized by
the World Trade Organization”

.The Cordova-based National Cotton Council released a statement
saying it was “pleased to see progress continue along the previously
agreed path and welcomes Brazil’s announcement that retaliation has
been suspended for 60 days. The U.S. cotton industry will continue to
support engagement and consultation between the affected/interested
parties.” .

.The NCC has pointed out in the past that U.S. production of cotton
has declined dramatically since Brazil first complained to the WTO in
September 2002 .

.Nefeterius Akeli McPherson, a spokeswoman for the Office of the U.S.
Trade Representative, said in a statement that the $147.3 million fund
may be used for international cooperation with Brazil and countries of
sub-Saharan Africa that joined Brazil in its case alleging the
trade-distorting character of U.S. cotton subsidy programs .

.The fund is expected to remain in place until the next farm bill in
2012. The U.S. can terminate its participation if Brazil moves forward
with countermeasures .

.In both 2005 and 2008, the WTO found that certain U.S. agriculture
programs were inconsistent with free trade regulations. Last August,
WTO arbitrators authorized countermeasures — essentially higher
tariffs on goods imported into Brazil from the U.S. — at $800 million .

.In March, Brazil announced 222 goods it planned to charge higher
tariffs on. WTO also authorized Brazil to impose countermeasures on
certain American intellectual property .

.Earlier this month, the U.S. and Brazil agreed to postpone the date
on which Brazil could impose higher tariffs. As part of the agreement,
the U.S. accepts “near term” modifications of its export credit
guarantee program .

.As part of the original WTO ruling, the U.S. was asked to suspend
its Step 2 export subsidy program and other “price-contingent”
subsidies that the WTO found suppressed world cotton prices and hurt
Third World cotton farmers. Congress abolished Step 2 in 2006 .


Source:Al Youm Al Sabaa News paper