Brazil has announced trade sanctions on a range of US goods in retaliation for the North American country’s alleged failure to eliminate billions in illegal cotton subsidies, according to a report by the Associated Press.
The higher tariffs affect a wide range of products, including fresh fruit, with cherries and pears now facing a tariff of 30 per cent instead of 10 per cent.
Last year the World Trade Organization (WTO) authorised Brazil to impose US$829.3m in annual penalties against US economic interests for years of anticompetitive subsidies paid to US cotton growers, according to the report.
This first move represents US$591m in penalties on goods, AP said, which Brazil claims will remain in place as long as the US continues to break international trade rules.
The ruling also allows for US$238m-worth of penalties on US trademarks, patents and commercial services, which will be reportedly be announced later this month.
“The Brazilian government regrets having to take these measures, since it believes that trade retaliation does not constitute the most appropriate means to attain international trade on a fairer basis,” the Brazilian government said in a statement.
“However, after almost eight years of litigation and over four years of continuing non-compliance ... it remains for Brazil to exercise its right” to the sanctions.
The list of goods was delivered to the WTO in Geneva, Switzerland, with a notice that the sanctions will start next month.