WTO Confirms EU, U.S. Must Dismantle Cotton, Sugar Subsidies

The World Trade Organization confirmed two separate rulings Sept. 8 outlawing farm subsidies paid by the United States to cotton farmers and by the European Union to its sugar producers.

The WTO's disputes settlement body formally published its final report on Brazil, Australia and Thailand's complaint against U.S. subsidies, ruling that $3.2 billion in payments to American cotton farmers were illegal under world trade rules.

The confirmation of a recent informal announcement leaves Washington with 60 days to appeal the decision. U.S. officials have indicated that they intended to appeal against a negative ruling.

In the sugar case, the WTO body on Wednesday handed to the EU and the plantiffs confirmation of an interim ruling made early last month, when it said the EU subsidies for sugar production broke international trade rules.

Brussels still has another month before the 60-day leave to appeal comes into force, and the EU Commission said it was examining whether or not to lodge a challenge to the ruling.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

TAGS: Trade
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