Brazil launches salvo of trade sanctions against US

Brazil is launching sanctions against the US in retaliation for government subsides for US cotton producers.

REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky/Files
Brazil is launching tariffs on US products, including cars, in retaliation for government subsides for US cotton producers.

According to the head of economic affairs at Brazil’s foreign ministry, Carlos Marcio Cozendey, the plan is “to distribute the retaliation broadly in order to maximise pressure.”

The “retaliation” he refers to includes trade sections on 100 US goods, ranging from cars to milk powder. The tariffs are in response to cotton producer subsidies the US has kept in place despite a 2008 WTO ruling that found the practice discriminatory.

From the BBC News:

“The World Trade Organization (WTO) approved the sanctions in a rare move.

“Brazil published a list of 100 US goods that would be subject to import tariffs in 30 days, unless the two governments reached a last-minute accord.

“It said it regretted the sanctions, but that eight years of litigation had failed to produce a result.

“It said it would raise tariffs on $591m (£393m) worth of US products – from cars, where the tariff will increase from 35% to 50%, to milk powder, which would see a 20% increase in the levy.

“Cotton and cotton products would be charged 100% import tariff, the highest on the list.”

As a rising economic force Brazil is taking a strong stance on the issue. It’s not insignificant to begin a trade confrontation the largest economy in the world. We’ll watch closely to see how this aggressiveness plays out.

Read more of the history behind the subsidies and about what the response means in the BBC’s coverage of Brazil’s US trade sanctions.

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.