Brazil might take US to WTO on soy subsidies
over subsidies that the U.S. government grants to its soybean
The Brazilian government may appeal to the World Trade Organization over subsidies that the U.S. government grants to its soybean producers, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper reported on July 24. Pedro Camargo Netto, in charge of production at Brazil's Agriculture Ministry, said that, next month the government may ask the WTO to install a panel to investigate whether subsidies paid by the United States to soybean farmers comply with trade regulations. Brazil argues that the subsidies keep international soy prices low, damaging Brazil's industry. The United States is the world's No. 1 soybean producer and Brazil is the second biggest. Soybeans are Brazil's top agricultural earner. "We are concluding a study into the financial damage caused by these subsidies," Camargo Netto said. The American government increased the value of its subsidies to soybean producers to $3.8 billion at the end of the 1990s from $109 million in 1992. Camargo Netto said ministry technicians had carried out viability studies that showed that Brazil had a strong chance of winning a WTO case. That would force the United States to stop financing its soybean producers.