Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Briefer re: Impending Brazilian Retaliation Against US Exports

As I recently mentioned here, Brazil is preparing to impose about $300 million in retaliatory sanctions on US exports because the US government refuses to comply with multiple WTO rulings against American cotton subsidies.  I've teamed with Daniella Markheim of the Heritage Foundation to write a web memo on the longstanding dispute and the implications of US recalcitrance at the WTO.  We outline the dispute and the repeated US attempts to shirk its WTO obligations, and conclude that, while $300 million in retaliation hurts American exports and White House efforts to boost them, US non-compliance in this case and others is very problematic even if Brazil ultimately decides not to impose the sanctions:
The U.S. has brought 94 trade disputes to the WTO in the trade body's 15-year history. When the WTO has ruled in America's favor, the U.S. government is quick to laud the decision and demand that the offending party immediately comply. Yet when the WTO rules against the U.S., as it did in Upland Cotton, American officials denounce the ruling, question the WTO's authority, and make every effort to delay or skirt required reforms.

Such hypocrisy undermines U.S. credibility and the WTO's efficacy.
To find out why, read the whole thing here.

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