Is this the breakthrough we have been waiting for? Brazil has won its case against US cotton dumping according to an article in the Wall Street Journal (registration necessary). In what is described as an interim decision that won’t be publicly released, the WSJ says that a World Trade Organisation panel has ruled largely in favour of Brazil by finding that US cotton subsidies distort trade by encouraging excess production.
The US’s 25,000 cotton farmers control more than 40% of global cotton exports, claims the Journal thanks to subsidies from the tax payer. averaging $3 billion a year. The article also suggests that Congress might get angry with the WTO’s attempt to influence domestic policy.
But hang on – isn’t this the same US administration which, according to an exclusive story in the Guardian today is claiming $1.8 billion through the WTO in compensation for the loss of exports to the European Union because of the latter’s ban on genetically modified crops? What was that about having your (subsidized) cake and eating it?