Tags: Brazil | Obama | Lula | trade

Brazil's Lula Demands Obama Resolve Trade Dispute

Thursday, 11 Mar 2010 09:49 AM

BRASILIA – Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called Wednesday on President Barack Obama to put his weight behind a quick resolution to a US-Brazilian trade dispute.

Brasilia on Monday announced it would raise tariffs on imported American cosmetics, appliances and cars worth 591 million dollars to counter what the World Trade Organization ruled were unfair US cotton subsidies.

"I wanted to ask comrade Obama to get his people to quickly negotiate" a solution to the dispute, Lula said at a public event.

"Brazil has no interest in a confrontation of any kind with the United States, but it is interested in the United States respecting the decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)," Lula said.

In a landmark decision in June 2008, the WTO allowed Brazil to impose up to 829.3 million dollars in retaliatory sanctions against the United States over unfair US cotton subsidies.

In announcing the higher tariffs on US luxury goods, Brazil said it may also apply penalties of up to 238 million dollars in the intellectual property and services sectors.

The Brazilian sanctions are supposed to go into effect in 30 days but Brasilia has indicated it may drop the action if the United States agrees to put an end to the subsidies.

Visiting US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Tuesday that Washington was seeking talks with Brazil before the higher tariffs go into effect.

Lula said Brazil's trade measures would also help poor African cotton producing countries, which cannot compete with US producers.

"We are not pursuing a policy of retaliation," Lula said. "We want to be respected and that the WTO be respected."

Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.


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BRASILIA – Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called Wednesday on President Barack Obama to put his weight behind a quick resolution to a US-Brazilian trade dispute.
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