Brazil pushes for trade sanctions against U.S.
Brazil has asked the World Trade Organization for the right to impose as much as $4 billion in annual sanctions against American goods and services to penalize the United States for handing out illegal cotton subsidies, two officials familiar with the matter said Tuesday.
The request was filed Monday at WTO headquarters, said the trade officials, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
Brazil asks that the global trade group restart a process, begun in 2005, in which Brazil sought WTO consultations with the U.S. That process was suspended while Washington was given time to bring its cotton programs into compliance with WTO rules.
In June the U.S. lost its final appeal in the six-year cotton case.
Washington can still ask the WTO to authorize lower sanctions than what Brazil is seeking, and said Tuesday that any U.S. subsidies did not result in American producers underselling their foreign competitors.
Spokeman Sean Spicer said the U.S. trade representative’s office, in consultation with Congress, would “vigorously” defend American interests.