Brazil in trade action against U.S.

by Josh Sosland
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GENEVA — In the first step of what could be a lengthy trade dispute, Brazil has filed a complaint against the United States at the World Trade Organization. In the request for consultations, Brazil alleged U.S. payments to farmers have exceeded W.T.O. limits. Ambassador Clodoaldo Hugueney said the United States has withheld details of its subsidy programs from the W.T.O. since 2001, but based the allegation of overspending on publicly available data indicating limits were eclipsed in six of the last eight years. The allegations were dismissed as "unfounded" by Gretchen Hamel, a spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. An earlier case between the two countries led to a 2004 W.T.O. ruling that forced the United States to overhaul its subsidy programs for cotton.

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