Brazil said on Monday it would raise tariffs on US$591 million worth of US products in the latest twist in its showdown over US cotton subsidies it has blasted as unfair.
The list of about 100 products included luxury consumer items such as cosmetics (shampoos, cologne, beauty creams), appliances (television sets, sound and kitchen equipment) and cars. Up to US$238 million in penalties may also be applied in the intellectual property and services sectors.
In a landmark decision, the WTO allowed Brazil to impose up to US$829.3 million in retaliatory sanctions against the US over unfair US cotton subsidies.
The US expressed regret at the Brazilian action, saying it preferred to resolve the issue through negotiations.
“We are disappointed to learn that Brazil’s authorities have decided to proceed with countermeasures against US trade in the WTO cotton dispute,” said Nefeterius McPherson, spokeswoman for the US Trade Representative (USTR).
“USTR is working to reach a solution to the issues in this dispute without Brazil resorting to countermeasures and we continue to prefer a negotiated solution,” she said.
US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke was to travel to Brasilia yesterday, US embassy officials said, as the two countries remain engaged in negotiations to settle the dispute.