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Brazil Raises Tariffs on 102 U.S. Goods in WTO Fight

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03/08/2010 10:55 AM
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Brazil Raises Tariffs on 102 U.S. Goods in WTO Fight
This is the type of economic news that can have a domino effect.

Brazil Raises Tariffs on 102 U.S. Goods in WTO Fight (Update1)
March 08, 2010, 8:08 AM EST

By Iuri Dantas

March 8 (Bloomberg) -- Brazil will raise tariffs on 102 U.S.-made products, including cars, boats and chewing gum, for 365 days in retaliation for subsidies paid to U.S. cotton producers, Trade Minister Miguel Jorge said.

Acting on authorization by the World Trade Organization, Brazil will raise levies to between 14 percent and 100 percent, according to a list published today in the government’s Official Gazette.

The Geneva-based WTO in August ruled that Brazil may impose $294.7 million annually in sanctions on U.S. imports because the cotton subsidies violate trade regulations. The amount is the second-biggest ever authorized by the organization.

Brazil may take additional measures, according to the Gazette. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s government will also seek to impose as much as $270 million in intellectual property sanctions, Marcio Cozendey, head of economics department at the Foreign Ministry, said Feb. 9.

The U.S. has 30 days to negotiate a bilateral agreement with Brazil and avoid higher levies, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim said March 3 at a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Brasilia.

Goods now subject to higher tariffs include refrigerators, medicine, personal care products, methanol, raw cotton, auto parts, earphones, speakers, refrigerators, plastic furniture, some ovens and sunglasses.

Agricultural goods sanctioned include pears, raisins and potatoes.