Through The Static

June 4, 2008

U.S. Loses Trade Ruling

Free markets are one of those things often preached and selectively practiced. Al Jazeera:

A World Trade Organisation (WTO) appeal panel upheld on Monday a ruling from December that found that the US had breached trade rules over its subsidies to cotton farmers.

The ruling means that Brazil could now seek one billon dollars in sanctions until the US stops payments to its farmers.

Developing nations, especially in Africa, say the US subsidies lower global prices, squeezing their own poor farmers out of the market.

The US government is estimated to have paid its cotton farmers $2bn to $4bn in subsidies in most recent years.

However, Tony Avirgan from the Economic Policy Institute, a non-profit think-tank, told Al Jazeera that the US government is unlikely to comply with the WTO ruling and has shown no inclination it will do so.

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