WASHINGTON — The House has voted to block a $147 million annual payment to Brazil's cotton industry, renewing a decade-old trade dispute with the country.
The chamber voted 223-197 Thursday to adopt an amendment to a farm spending bill that would block the payment, which the United States agreed to last year in response to a 2002 Brazilian complaint to the World Trade Organization. That case alleged that the United States remained the world's second-largest cotton producer by paying out the subsidies.
By blocking the payments to Brazil, the United States can continue to subsidize its own cotton farmers. Democratic Rep. Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat who is a frequent critic of domestic farm subsidies, offered the amendment. Kind was joined by fiscal conservatives who said the Brazil payment is wasteful.
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