Comments for en-gb 30 Fri 30 Jan 2015 20:38:14 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at mridul_h Let us discuss the allegation of Brazil against USA for supply of cotton which is subsided at the grass root level. The World had or has seen many wars in search of securing low cost Raw Materials to manufacture finish Products cheap to sell it elsewhere for earning of Profits together with offering of mass engagements at home. Therefore the receipt of cheap Raw Materials at home without searching for it, is always a welcome gesture for everyone. Since doing of Trading is govern by demand of a particular Product in a particular area, the production of finish Products hence are more in Brazil than in USA. Accordingly we unable to understand why the Authorities of Brazil just either buy the commodity to Store it for future use for selling it at the Market Price later to build an extra fund or expand the sector to consume it since the Commodity is not biodegradable. Hence who is the gainer? Is not it than, USA is providing a free aid to Brazil? Facing with other threats, why we are putting blame on someone else? If the Market at Brazil is flooded with the same unsold commodity, the stopping of it possibly shall do some justice to the farmers but the cost of the finish Products shall go high which shall see a set-back in earning of revenue against the finish Product produced from it either sold within or outside the Country. Therefore the solution is very simple to find, if a rightful thought is given to it, harming none. (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA,PhD) Wed 10 Mar 2010 09:22:21 GMT+1 Upemall South America could easily become the next big flashpoint. The UK is being placed in a position where it will have to defend its territory in the South Atlantic from attack. The US will doubtless side with Argentina, not least because of its wish to dominate the trade patterns of the entire American continent. Any future British government might well find itself having to face up to our so-called 'friends' across the Atlantic, in addition to a less friendly country making noises about ownership of the Falklands on the dubious premise that a nation not in existence when the British took control of the islands should not have rights over them. Wed 10 Mar 2010 09:17:47 GMT+1 costbased The dominance of the US and the West in particular is coming to an end. Other countries are gearing up with their own pacts, technological revolutions to take the mantle, crown from the existing holders. It is natural, it is the order of the universe. It has happened before, and will happen in the future. The new countries are China, Brazil, India.....The West exploited the natural resources of the earth for decades, whilst for the most part these emerging countries were kept out of it, most of them have been busy moving forwards technologically and setting their house in order...and now they are coming out Wed 10 Mar 2010 07:19:21 GMT+1 lordBanners WTO as is, is Not working. It's trying, but doesn't have the muscle.WTO, sold as a noble common-cause, had become a US playground for Circumvention until others learnt the Rules. There will be some NEW "Agreement" soon.After most scuffles, US walks away with more than it should.Notably, S American and Caribbean Countries formed an Association excluding US and Canada.Personally, I believe UK would have fared far better as Friendly Big-Brother to the Commonwealth. Wed 10 Mar 2010 06:01:29 GMT+1 Andrew Peterson While I agree with many calling for reduced subsidies for agriculture, countries like Brazil also do it in other sectors to discourage certain kinds of imports. They make many products unnecessarily expensive to protect domestic industries, and to raise revenue with really high taxes. Buy a car in Brazil to see what I mean. A Honda Civic costs at least twice as much in Brazil as it does in the USA the last time I checked. Exchange rate differences cannot explain the huge difference in price. Try buying electronics in Brazil or Mexico, for example. Computers and computing components (RAM, graphics cards, etc) are priced ludicrously high mostly due to high taxes. These policies are wrongheaded since the rich simply buy their laptops when traveling abroad, meanwhile those with less means trying to improve their business, or start one, have government imposed taxes which make these types of purchases difficult. People have less money for other things, while the government gets to skim some from the top in the form of taxes. Corruption and misuse of public funds is a big problem in Brazil, and this only encourages it. All of this leads to the masses having less access to modern technology. Another way foreign firms have difficulty doing business in Brazil is how the government tells them where they can make their products. Microsoft’s Xbox is really expensive in Brazil because the government wants Microsoft to manufacture them in Brazil. That is one of many examples. Finally, many people use pirated software/movies/music in Brazil, and other countries which also hurt foreign firms. I understand how countries do not want to compete against subsidized agriculture, since in causes poverty in the countryside, but neither side is not entirely in the clear on this issue. If Brazil does not want the US to subsidize cotton or ethanol, or Mexico is against corn subsidies, then they should allow foreign firms to have greater access to their consumer markets. Trade should be mutually beneficial, so calls to scrap the agricultural subsidies only address half the problem. So let's do away with subsidies, but also do away with tariffs and other forms of protectionism. Wed 10 Mar 2010 04:14:18 GMT+1 Zhuubaajie A few billions here and there to subsidize the "farmers" (mostly large Ag corporate interests) is figuratively "chicken feed" (no pun intended), when compared to the over US$2 Trillion in cash subsidies (plus the other $12 Trillion government guarantees) given to the American financial industry - truly boggles the mind, as it probably exceeds ALL government subsidies by all human governments added together, since humans existed on Earth. Wed 10 Mar 2010 04:00:09 GMT+1 Neal Wow this has triggered a lot of "farmers". First, many countries cannot feed themselves. France can so it is important. California has 45 feet of top soil in the Central Valley, dig an underpass and the next day weeds are growing. Middle U,S, America has so, so soil but it rains during the growing season, you can't beat that! And so on and so forth, we are a bread basket. Many areas of South America have similar agriculture so there is bound to be some controversy. Any way you look at it we are both "fat cats" in the americas. Aside from France and smaller areas in Europe, they cannot produced enough food to feed it's citizens. When push comes to shove many of these countries can always grow potatoes,unless here is a blight (e.g. Ireland). When food producing countries get in an argument, it is a "family" argument. Also, I assume that China will be coming into the act soon. Wed 10 Mar 2010 02:31:49 GMT+1 Everythinginmoderation The US are typically trying to protect their own by attempting to keep afloat a dying industry that can no longer efficently function and produce economically. The subsidies are a short term solution to a long term problem but no Government, American or European, has the guts to axe a dying industry because come election time they'll get shot down... realistically, what is the best decision for the greater good in the futre? Wed 10 Mar 2010 01:53:43 GMT+1 Sir Lagerlout RE: "33. Pompadour wrote:US farmers are the most heavily subsidized in the world..."If my lazy search results are correct, EU farm subsidies are over 45 billion and US subsidies are about 10 billion. Tariffs and subsidies cause higer prices or lower wages for whoever ends up on the losing side. They also make it easy for politicians to get elected, so they aren't going to end in this century. The West won't reform, China will supplant our "friendships" and set the terms for how the world will be run. I hope I don't live to see it. Wed 10 Mar 2010 01:33:52 GMT+1 roy smith Plausible as the effort is to look after your own, it highlights the undesirability of bringing your pricing out of sink with other world producers. It would be wise for US farmers to look to other crops or a switch to intensive grassland farming. In other words; to look out of the box, as their philosophic advisers would say. American farming is getting too close to big corporative industries and leaving the versatile family unit by the wayside. Perhaps they should start to reconsider their basic farming organisation and its inability to adapt. Wed 10 Mar 2010 01:23:42 GMT+1 PJ Blazkowicz 61. At 11:08pm on 09 Mar 2010, GeoffWard wrote:Behind all the political posturing, does any nation in the world consider itself to be a reciprocated FRIEND of the USA?Poland does, as does most of Eastern Europe, as does the Caucuses. The US is popular in many parts of Africa, and surprisingly, South East Asia. Taiwan is especially friendly to the US, as is South Korea and Japan, to some extent. Canadians and Americans get along rather well.The US is mostly hated in South America and the Middle East. Russia, South Asia, and China are not particularly friendly but neither are they hostile towards the US. Western Europe, as well as Italy and much of Southeastern Europe, tends to be more annoyed than angry at the US.So no, the entire world doesn't hate us. Wed 10 Mar 2010 01:15:29 GMT+1 Alan Byrom Brazil is up against the fastest gun in the West. If Canada can't get money owed from NAFTA violations, what chance does Brazil have for a straight deal? Brazil is the destroyer of the Amazon rain forest, the blight of indigenous cultures, the home of anarchic street violence, you can piddle around with trade wars, but you will never outwit the biggest predator in the West, cos God is on their side. Wed 10 Mar 2010 01:15:08 GMT+1 PJ Blazkowicz So the WTO allows penalties for the US for making cotton cheaper, but when Merck-Medco wants to charge 20x the price for medicine (the biggest reason US healthcare is so expensive), or when EU farmers want to sell unpasteurized cheese in the US, or when Microsoft is not allowed to package its products together, that's perfectly alright.Can someone please tell me exactly WHAT the WTO has done in favor for the US? Wed 10 Mar 2010 00:57:04 GMT+1 Bryan Clegg To: GEOFFWARD, comments 7, 54, 59, & 61. Your comments tell all that you are RUDE, CRUDE and SOCIALLY UNATTRACTIVE. You are defending BRAZIL. the land founded by INQUISITION - PORTUGUESE, The government that defends IRANS NUCLEAR DESIRES, The government that shelters KIDNAPERS. "BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER" - WATER SEEKS IT'S OWN LEVEL" Wed 10 Mar 2010 00:06:56 GMT+1 GeoffWard • (48). At 6:12pm on 09 Mar 2010, lostalex wrote: “i hope the US retaliates quickly. Infact i hope they slap an entire trade embargo on them, like Cuba, to remind brazil of it's place in the world.It's time small countries end this notion that they are on equal footing with the USA. Brazil is not equal, and the idea that it should be treated equally is rediculous.I wish the US would start throwing it's weight around more, and remind these people who's in charge.”Behind all the political posturing, does any nation in the world consider itself to be a reciprocated FRIEND of the USA? Is red-neck arrogance alive and well in real life, as well as in the movies? ……. or is Lostalex a master of irony? Tue 09 Mar 2010 23:08:28 GMT+1 SimpleOldSailor Hard Luck America! Those western hemisphere countries which were so much a part of America's economic empire are no longer willing to be exploited as they were in the past, more and more of them are waking up to the fact that they do not just have to do what America dictates. The old military dictatorships are disappearing, more democratic forces are at work in these places. If America wants to do business with them in the future then it will have to do so on a fair and more equitable basis. Tue 09 Mar 2010 23:00:50 GMT+1 GeoffWard • (31). At 3:50pm on 09 Mar 2010, Raul wrote: ”On the other hand, Brazil should not be growing cotton, instead growing trees! Call me a hippie but tropical jungles contain more life. leave the cotton to texas, make fabric out of sugar cane or hemp.” Once more I despair at the convoluted logic, and perhaps, the education, of some of our American friends. Brazil is a country the size of a sub-continent, as is India, Russia, China and, indeed, the USA. FYI: Cotton is grown thousands of miles away from Amazonia and Brazil is addressing its arborial issues at the same time as it people elsewhere grow cotton and trade in the commodity. It would not surprise me to hear you say that Brazil should also leave to the “Americans” iron ore, soya, meat products, coffee, animal feed, footware, pulp, aluminium and indeed all the other exports of this great and developing BRIC countryShame on you! Tue 09 Mar 2010 22:30:42 GMT+1 Adam P Of course, the cotton farmers deserve subsidies; cotton is an essential for the manufacturing of clothing, along with various other items.The World Trade Organization has, evidently, not learnt from its past errors. When it was founded in 1995, part of its agreement of trade with other countries was that trade would be "transparent" and, therefore, just. The World Trade Organization breached its promise of transparency in trade with the Middle-East, underpaying farmers for the product received. This ultimately led to the World Trade Center becoming the main target of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and the loss of almost 3000 innocent lives.You would think that the World Trade Organization would be less than willing to provoke anger in those with which it trades, after such a terrible event caused by unfair trading. Tue 09 Mar 2010 22:25:27 GMT+1 Risforme So lets get this straight. Every country on the planet subsidizes their own native industries, but the US is singled out over cotton? Sorry, but am I to believe that Brazil in no way subsidizes their exporting industries? What's the argument? The US does a better job subsidizing their industries so it's unfair? The farm subsidies in the US should have ended long ago. But by imposing these tariffs all Brazil is doing is hurting their own population. The US Government isn't going to give in or every country with a similar problem would do the same thing. When has threatening the US ever produced positive results? Tue 09 Mar 2010 22:14:23 GMT+1 lordBanners US "Free-Trade" is more than Developing and Poor Nations can Afford, or other Industrial Nations will tollerate. What's needed is "FAIR-Trade".US domination is unravelling daily as all Great Military Powers previously, from festering Arrogance within. All that's left is for the switch from $US, probably to a World Bank Currency only Countries could hold - to avoid Internal Mismanagement ever affecting rest of the World again. Europe exploring it's own IMF confirm this as a real-concern.One thing Bullies never allow for, is their Victims Growing-up. Tue 09 Mar 2010 22:12:16 GMT+1 colourfulbombolai40 Subsidies are a way that government helps its farmers to cater for their needs and produce more and it is the basic fundamental responsibility of a government to cater for its people. hat is wrong with the U.S or any other country to provide subsidies for it farmers? If Brazil so care about their farmers, let them do the same. It does not mean if your child is hungry mine shouldn't eat, this is a capitalist world fro what ever perspective you look at it. I know Brazil is a big and emerging economy but the authorities must think twice before declaring sanctions on the U.S. Tue 09 Mar 2010 22:01:22 GMT+1 GeoffWard 14. At 12:53pm on 09 Mar 2010, Bryan Clegg wrote:.…”…..bite the hand that feeds you, and you go hungry." Brazil has bitten our hands. No trade eith BRAZIL”Oh, Bryan, you poor deluded man! Brazil isn’t biting your hand! The world has established that you behaved illegally over many years and that you should compensate Brazil to the tune of $800m or some such figure. Brazil has been trying to get the US to recognize this, with nothing but a US studied intransigence to show for it.Brazil has put a package on the table to recoup just $500m – this is a carefully balanced gesture to enable the US to break the log-jam without losing too much face.Please, perhaps for the first time in your life, help your Government to recognize that the US lives within a global economy and only harm comes in the long term to those who “pull up the drawbridge”. Trust me, your way simply transfers your markets to your competitors and diminishes the US’s great reputation in international commerce and in world influence. Tue 09 Mar 2010 21:33:47 GMT+1 Tullius The problem with the US government is that it never practises what it preaches. For instance, it pretends to be against torture worldwide, but we all remember Guantanomo and Abu Ghraib; it says to be for free market rules, but it keeps adopting protectionist measures to boost or support their own economy. The inconsistencies are numerous. So I do agree with the Brazilian government. Subsidies are against the so-called free market rules. If the US cotton producers cannot vie with other producers, they should look for another occupation. I reckon the future of US trade with South America could be gloomy, if the local economies grow and their governments get more and more self-confident. Tue 09 Mar 2010 20:14:42 GMT+1 Blogs On Subsidies to American agricultural producers make it possible for U.S. agriculture to sell crops internationally at artificially lower prices than can be obtained by producers in many other countries which have no subsidy system. This results, for example, in American-produced crops being sold in Mexico for lower prices than Mexican farmers can obtain, in effect driving them off the land. With no income they often then migrate to the U.S., generally in violation of U.S. immigration laws. Then Americans complain about the influx of so-called illegal immigrants who then will work in the U.S. for lower wages than American citizens will work for. There is a consequent knock-on effect for the American labor market. Tue 09 Mar 2010 20:11:57 GMT+1 ian cheese Any form of protectionism is a bit rich coming from the US, the land of free competition! Tue 09 Mar 2010 19:32:00 GMT+1 Gramsci @ lostalex I assume you are being ironic.The US can't even run itself, let alone throw it's weight around the world. Iraq is practically a second Vietnam, Afghanistan has been falling apart for years. US farmers survive on government handouts, as do the banks and automobile industries... social mobility is one of the lowest in the western worldThe time when the US could do as it wished is over. Just look at Brasil's response to US demands it back sanctions against Iran... "No, no and there is nothing you can do about it." Tue 09 Mar 2010 19:18:02 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 Do US cotton producers need subsidies?Of course, being from the United States...Cotton producers need government assistance because, (my own editorial opinion)...Most of the world, offers $$$ to their cotton producers..(D) Tue 09 Mar 2010 18:29:59 GMT+1 lostalex i hope the US retaliates quickly. Infact i hope they slap an entire trade embargo on them, like Cuba, to remind brazil of it's place in the world.It's time small countries end this notion that they are on equal footing with the USA. Brazil is not equal, and the idea that it should be treated equally is rediculous.I wish the US would start throwing it's weight around more, and remind these people who's in charge. Tue 09 Mar 2010 18:12:26 GMT+1 Keith Hart the Americans could care less about the Brazilian tariffs.===Very true, we don't. The WTO is another organization that the United States funds, as well as the United Nations. We, the American people (read taxpayers) have been funding every conceivable project that the world comes up with, however lame, because we chose to do the right thing. No other country on this earth (most certainly the UK) has spent more money propping up corrupt governments and funding rebuilding projects, yes including post war II England, than the US. So, before you guys start foaming at the mouth, be glad we are your allies! start acting like it... Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:57:44 GMT+1 Catana L Barnes I think the sanctions are appropriate. Our government believes that they can do no wrong and that there are no penalties for what they do. We, here in America, are trying to replace the corrupt politicians, but we have to fight against the corporations as well because they now have financial access to our politicians through campaign financing (thank you Supreme Court Justice John Roberts & others)! Again, I support the sanctions. Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:31:55 GMT+1 DCHeretic All this talk of American "exploitation" of South America is laughable. There are more than 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, most of whom are from Mexico and Central and South America. These individuals receive American social services and send money back to their home countries. I housed a young Brazilian man for years who overstayed his tourist visa because he was subject to anti-gay discrimination in Brazil. No doubt that the US has been heavy-handed in the past, but the real exploiters of Latin America have historically been European. If Spain and the Vatican would develop a conscience and return the vast quantities of gold that they plundered, then perhaps Latin American countries could improve their economic circumstances. In the meantime, Brazil and the US will work to get beyond this little spat. Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:28:03 GMT+1 blattella That's just the WTO contributing to global warming by spewing hot air. Every sovereign, developed nation subsidizes agriculture and control ag stocks for economic, political and national security purposes. the US and EU are no exception. Only the poor do what the World Bank, IMF, DOW and Monsanto instruct them to do in utter subservience. That said, the US has long eyed Brazilian cotton production with grave concern. Native tribes traditionally used cotton, but it was after the Civil War, when many Southerners, led by confederate colonel and ex-Alabama senator William Hutchinson Norris, fled to Brazil, where slavery was still legal, and established their cotton plantations in Sao Paulo that production really took off. When it comes to playing dirty, it's no surprise that the boll weevil, which ravaged the South's cotton crop in the late 19th century, suddenly popped up in Sao Paulo in the 1980s, abruptly ending Brazilian cotton exports until now, that technology has somewhat subdued the pesky weevil. So yes, I'll take those cries of foul play with a teeny grain of salt please. Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:16:36 GMT+1 mridul_h As far as Cotton is concerned, it is bulk commodity and hence visible to all so also it helps in creating jobs rather than destroying it. Therefore the said notice as seen by the Authorities of Brazil is somewhat puzzle some which can never kill the Domestic Market altogether but ignoring other cheap Commodities hugely infiltrating into their Market is a killer being accompanied by a desire of expansions and hence surely put pressure on the entire system that govern the Country. When USA was not doing so earlier, there was a hue and cry for leaving them out, why then the other effects are not seen equally? Therefore it is not USA but somebody else had waged a war against them already. Therefore it is a very ordinary matter which can be resolved just over a Phone call. (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA,PhD) Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:16:23 GMT+1 Gramsci @Bryan CleggI'm not sure you actually understand the issues.US farmers are too inefficient to produce cotton at a profit, so your (if you you are a US citizen) tax money is used to pay these farmers a subsidy.In a nutshell, you are paying welfare to people who in a free market cannot compete, solely for the political interest of the politicians of cotton producing States.What you seem to propose is a form of Socialism for US farmers; the same kind of State dependency as the Soviet Union.Brasil have placed trade tariffs on US products because the international legal body that oversees trade between member States has ruled in Brasil's favour because the US government has broken the laws of the organisation it helped to set up!Brasil like the US is an economy that as a strong internal market and industrial base, the US needs Brasilian produce and imports far more than Brasil needs the US.If the US stopped all trade with Brasil, Brasil would quickly find new markets for it's goods and the US would loose 10% of it's export income overnight. Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:06:30 GMT+1 Edwin Schrodinger Prospects are excellent now the US has refused to support it's British allies over the Falklands. Just goes to show that friendship and sacrifice are not as important to the Americans as cash. Tue 09 Mar 2010 17:04:45 GMT+1 sxb1234 It looks like Brazil already has extremely high tariffs on American made goods, that increasing them even higher, is not going to hurt the number of goods imported to Brazil. A better agreement would be for the US to stop subsidizing and for Brazil to stop with the high tariffs. Isn't that what free trade is about anyhow. Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:58:19 GMT+1 mridul_h All subsides either provided or given must always be govern by a strict rule and regulation to avoid a possible misuse and its end result must be restricted within the border as far as practicable to meet the demand of the Domestic Market. The fund so disbursed being Tax Payer’s hard earned Money ; it can possibly be better utilized to create more job openings instead of continuing with such feeds in absence of any calamity worth the name. However, since Dollar has a higher value than that of many other currencies, its output of product produced shall always be costlier when offered for sell outside. So long the extending of help don’t disturb the balance but encourage establishing of competiveness for a particular commodity globally, such subsides harm none. Otherwise USA shall always become a buyer to see all around job loss being same or similar end Products are abundantly available everywhere all across the Globe at a cheap rate to allow some discretion to happen against the Country. With setting-in of stagnation in Technological developments, we must ensure that some firm mechanism is put into place at WTO so that no Country is put into hardship due to this and none invades other’s market offering cheap goods to bring-in a balance everywhere without allowing any to store fund beyond a point but keep it circulating everywhere keeping the standard of a particular Country or State in-tact or just proportionate to the labor put-in to earn a particular value as measured; no matter whatever way one prefers to complete a task.This is how we can tackle the current situation Globally where none is deprived of fund for whatever reason. (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA,PhD) Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:44:27 GMT+1 Sweet Phoenix I read The National Cotton Council of America and learned many things. I am shocked to learn more about the dirty details of tariff tax, labor and cost as of today. In the early 1990's The Trade Agreement Act was implemented. Then the US made federal laws with tariff taxes to suit the Corporations. (President Bush passed another tariff tax for Corporation in the early 2000's) These low tariff taxes gave the Big Corporations opportunity to move their companies to other countries and set up shops, pay low wages, then export their products back into America. I was sad when the Trade Agreement Act was implemented. Can we ever bring the jobs back to the USA with descent wages for Americans? Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:35:29 GMT+1 Dahhuh Love the world but its time for the USA to terminate all trade agreements and start from scratch. Look at Europe you're a melting pot of total confusion, you don't have an identity anymore. At least we know we are mutts! And the mutt still bites. Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:34:43 GMT+1 Scott0962 If we stop subsidizing American cotton farmers where will Brazil get the land to increase cotton production? Looks like more of the Amazon rain forest will be sacrificed so consumers can buy jeans made from Brazilian cotton.The WTO's decision may be legally correct but it's in no one's best interests. Both the U.S. and Brazilian governments were so focused on scoring domestic political points that they lost track of the bigger picture. Shame on both of them. Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:22:02 GMT+1 Finchj Globalization is one of the driving factors of anthropogenic climate change. Our trade networks run off of cheap hydrocarbons. There is no reason why agricultural products should be produced on different continents and shipped at great environmental cost just because of some idea of "free trade." Should farm subsidies be revisited? Yes, but they should be revised in a such a way as to support local production of agricultural products in sustainable ways. A country shouldn't be forced to buy products from any nation. Who benefits? Surely not the small farmer. Surely not the jobs which inevitably get shipped overseas to other nations. Globalization is a scam. The United States is falling apart because of it. We need to care about our own people first and send aid to nations that need it. We don't need to be forced into buying from other continents in an age of environmental degradation. The less land the Brazilians (and everyone else) devote to competitive, international "free trade" the better IMO.Maybe they could give land to the impoverished people living in the infamous favelas? Teach anyone who wants to move into these degraded, previously rain forest environment forms of sustainable agriculture and grazing. That would make sense.We need to move on from "free trade." The world is too complex and fragile to integrate into one world economy based off of oil. Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:09:59 GMT+1 bcpl the Americans could care less about the Brazilian tariffs. Tue 09 Mar 2010 16:00:44 GMT+1 Pompadour US farmers are the most heavily subsidized in the world even getting paid to not grow certain crops while at the same time being susidized to grow others like biofuel crops. The US has always used trade as a political weapon and US legislation is heavily influenced by farm lobbies that breath down the down neck congressmen. The scene of european milk producers emptying their milk onto the ground because they cannot make a profit doesn't occur in the US because of governmental subsidies and any cost overruns or losses are passed to the consumer to bear. The US wants foreign suppliers of meat or produce to play by tight rules that restrict their ability to market in the US but for US producers to have all the advantage not liking it when other countries resort to the same methods as the US employs against them. But then much of this has been caused by previous US administrations especially the Republicans who play a face saving game of defending interests of their constituents in their home state but then covertly legislate to give favored tax and rules treatment to big US corporations doing business abroad, or foreign competitors, that undermine other US producers of all sorts resulting in a glaring trade imbalance. There is a tangled web of private interests in Congress each competing with each other resulting in contradictory legislation depending on who has the upper hand at the moment. To this mix are added foreign lobbiests who corrupt things even further. Essentially the US Congress is for sale. They call it democracy but it's government for hire to the highest bidder and the little people don't matter. Foreign governments have to contend with this maze often resorting to actions as Brazil has done out of sheer frustration. What goes around comes around. Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:58:18 GMT+1 hirundine608 Hmm ....... it is with interest I read about this. For around 20 yrs. the U.S. has been claiming that Canadian lumber exports were subsidized. That the subsidies [never proven] were an anathema to them and the U.S belief of a free market system. - How the worm turns! Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:50:13 GMT+1 Raul The US should subsidize only if there is an ecological incentive, such as organic cotton or energy efficient technology. Otherwise, their strategies will probably remain the same and no progress will come out of it, which will create a vicious cycle of dependency and stagnancy. Hopefully this will not lead to genetically modified cotton. On the other hand, Brazil should not be growing cotton, instead growing trees! Call me a hippie but tropical jungles contain more life. leave the cotton to texas, make fabric out of sugar cane or hemp. Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:50:06 GMT+1 Common Sense This is complete hypocrisy. Brazil may have a valid concern regarding cotton subsidies, but it has proved itself the guiltier party by imposing a 35% NON-punitive tariff on imported manufactured goods, then raising it to 50%. Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:49:39 GMT+1 Eric Agricultural independence is perhaps the number one national security requirement of every government. Just look back to the recent world wide rice/grain shortages - it was the countries that FAILED to maintain agricultural independence that suffered. This does not just relate to war - cold or hot, but to natural disasters, droughts; a government entrusted with the welfare of its citizens must be able to guarantee food for its citizens. The USA and the EU are pursuing these goals through various farm subsidy schemes - that is their choice, other countries may pursue agricultural independence other ways - their choice. At some point, the world will look real, absolute global food shortages directly in the eye. In that scenario, I would rather that my government be asking me to cut back to save people in other countries rather than my neighbor (or myself!) from starvation. Agriculture in general should be exempt from any WTO interference just like any other strategic national asset. And cotton? Well a cotton farm can grow corn, wheat, soy....The important point is that there exists an adequate agribusiness base. Trucks are so protected with restricted imports so as to maintain the industrial base even though most of the trucks produced are not military, why not the same for agriproducts in general? Let Brazil support its own agribusiness it's own way, whether subsidies or import restrictions. Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:48:53 GMT+1 Khuli "14. At 12:53pm on 09 Mar 2010, Bryan Clegg wrote:We can get by with energy problems. we die with out food goods. So let's protect our FARMERS. Take care of our own. "I didn't realise that cotton was a food crop in the US, Bryan. Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:47:29 GMT+1 Keith Hart As an American, I have to say I'm rather appalled at some of the comments posted against the United States. While I take exception, I have noticed that the UK has it's own set of issues that should be addressed, not to mention that as of late, you guys are experiencing your own loss of values!. The EU is what it is, a collective union that subsidizes farmers as well. Before you comment on America's business practices, think about your own problems and hope we (American taxpayers) don't have to bail YOU guys out any more! Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:28:36 GMT+1 Hugh Morley About time. The US has been exploiting South America in every way imaginable for decades. It's about time South America told them to get lost. MERCOSUR (The Latin American equivalent of the EU) should impose union-wide sanctions on US products. Tue 09 Mar 2010 15:27:01 GMT+1 Roberttrebor So Brazil, is starting to stand up for their farmers just as America is doing through subsidies. Good for Brazil, America only gets way with it because they are a strong country. Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:55:00 GMT+1 RD America now knows how the numerous other countries it has sanctions against feel.Typical though, they can dish it but cant take it. You just know when Chavez heard this, he sat there in his chair grinning like a cheshire cat. Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:51:00 GMT+1 Doctuer_Eiffel This post has been Removed Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:44:10 GMT+1 Kaliyug Every country in this modern world is supporting agriculture in one way or the other, what we are seeing in Brazil and America is the unhappiness when the other party does the same as one. To resolve this conflict there has to be something else that needs to eased, it can be some other commodity that should be exported without any tariffs. Brazil can go up the value chain by making the cloth and then making the final products and selling them in international markets. America is just one market, there are other countries that also need all the goods that Americans need. Stay calm and solve this problem. Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:36:26 GMT+1 rustle I agree in principle with many like Peter Galbavy that subsidies should not be applied except in extreme case but I think the situation in the southern states may, in some cases, be an exception. If only the money was going to the right people i.e. the workers! US protectionism is nothing new and Brazil is very brave but the hypocrisy and cynicism in a trade agreement with the US should have made them wary, "giving ones confidence is an act of courage"! If the US start closing their doors then the decline of the "Empire" is already under way! Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:34:46 GMT+1 tridiv Absolutely agree with the sanctions. They are not knee-jerk reactions- its after eight years of litigation and the WTO ruled in favour of Brazil. If there is any double standard here at all, its the champion of capitalism asking poor countries to open their markets while illegally subsiding there own farms and companies. Some of the responses on the line of "America-lets go alone" are simply wishful thinking. Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:27:11 GMT+1 BigLitvak Someone please tell me what country does not engage in favoritism for local agriculture. There is a balance between protecting your own and not shutting off foreign markets. Devotion to either idea yields less than optimal economic results. Competition based purely on price is feuling China's emergence as a world power. Large corporations are putting their manufacturing in China to scoop larger profits, and to hell with the locals that put them where they are. Next will be engineering. When the Chinese are telling you what you watch on TV, you will look back on these days with envy. Tue 09 Mar 2010 14:23:48 GMT+1 Zman Before the WTO & so-called "free trade", the US was an economic world power that every other country tried to emulate, except they did it without requiring that a living wage be payed to workers, ignoring worker & consumer health & safety and ignoring completely the environmental damage caused by their totally unregulated industries, thus allowing them to undercut companies in the US & Europe & flood our markets with cheap goods. Not being able to compete with this, US & European companies closed their operations in their native countries and moved them to these unregulated countries with cheap labor in order to stay in business. It is time to undo the harm that "free trade" and the WTO has wreaked on our countries & peoples. Tue 09 Mar 2010 13:41:05 GMT+1 Artur Freitas The USA champions free enterprise when comes to other countries Tue 09 Mar 2010 13:39:40 GMT+1 Zman It is time for the US to withdraw from the WTO. It has produced absolutely no benefits to our country and only hurt our economy by encouraging US companies to move their operations to other countries putting millions of Americans out of work and lowering our living standards while allowing countries to flood our country with cheaper goods because of the low pay they give their workers and the absence of safety & environmental standards which are required by law of US companies in our country. It is time to regrow industry in our country and put Americans back to work, including putting tariffs & other trade sanctions on goods from countries who refuse to pay a living wage and institute the same safety & environmental regulations that are required of US companies. Tue 09 Mar 2010 13:33:16 GMT+1 corum-populo-2010 This post has been Removed Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:54:10 GMT+1 Bryan Clegg Brazil has a problem involving trade with the United States Of America. I think the best way to solve their problem is to STOP ALL TRADE WITH BRAZIL. End of problem. We all know who will survive. We Americans are a resourceful People. If we and the Europeans become as dependent of others for farmed goods as We have on energy. We are is serious trouble. We can get by with energy problems. we die with out food goods. So let's protect our FARMERS. Take care of our own. stop all aid to those who have a problem with our dealings. There is an old saying. "bite the hand that feeds you, and you go hungry." Brazil has bitten our hands. No trade eith BRAZIL. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:53:11 GMT+1 brazilwatcher I never can understand how the WTO works. It happily allows the whole of the world's manufacturing base to be transferred to China, who have used their phony exchange rate and slave labour workforce to become the world's dominant trading nation, and yet subsidising US cotton producers is somehow illegal. As for Brazil, well I live there and can confirm that with few exceptions, any imported product is taxed at 60%. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:52:37 GMT+1 Andy Fully endorse the action taken by Brazil which is totally supported by WTO. US does not consider any other countries, and to say that they are disappointed merely illustrates their blinkered views of world trade. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:52:34 GMT+1 sean56z America's cotton industry has been competitive for over 300 years. Congress should replace subsidies with tax breaks for companies growing and manufacturing the product. Brazil might view this move as modern and international in the trade of cotton. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:49:58 GMT+1 D Well done Brazil, i hope the EU gets whats coming to it aswell! Level economic playing field is what is wanted, and the use of these subsidies is not that! It will take decades to eradicate the unfair and biased practises, but it is about challenging it, unfortunately a big fat bribe usually works, and im sure the US is scratchin its head wondering who didnt get their bribe! Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:48:12 GMT+1 dennisjunior1 What will be the impact?With the incoming news, from Brazil it is going to be very much negative news...with the sanctions against the United States! Since, now the U.S. will imposed it's own sanctions against the Brazilian government in retalliation.(D) Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:36:49 GMT+1 BluesBerry I absolutely agree with Brazil.Brazil announced trade sanctions Monday on a wide range of American goods, anything from from Heinz ketchup to automobiles; this was in retaliation for billions of dollars that the United States pours into domestic cotton subsidies. It’s important that The World Trade Organization has authgorized such action, and it has. Last year WTO authorized Brazil to set $829.3M in annual penalties against the United States for anticompetitive subsidies, the sanctions to remain inplace as long as the American practice continues. Brazil Maintains (and evidently so does WTO) that the United States has been able to remain the world's second-largest cotton producer by paying some $3B to its cotton producers anuually. What I don’t understand is Washington’s "disappointed" at the move. What does Washington think? It can subsudize its cotton farmers, but no other country can? Does free trade mean free trade only for Washington? Bilateral trade will fall, in fact is falling, but only time will tell the full impact. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:19:11 GMT+1 GeoffWard Agricultural subsidies and the resultant restrictions on balanced trade with parties "outside the fence" are a feature of the EU/GB agricultural trading relationships as well as the USA. We can not defend the US without condemning ourselves.Now living in Brazil, I see things from the other side.This case of US cotton subsidy is judged unambiguously illegal in world production/trading.One result will be the (possibly permanent) loss of the US market for Brazilian cotton-trading and a variety of other products. China will progressively replace the US as the supplying partner of cotton goods and receiver of raw-product; and China will increase its overall market-penetration in Brazil. Japanese car companies will immediately take up the now-restricted-in-Brazil trade in US cars.The US will be the major loser in this trade-battle, simply because it will not grasp the subsidy nettle.The EU will also progressively lose its external markets for the same reason.Who will benefit most? ...... think about it. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:16:38 GMT+1 buzios I agree that the US subsidies are unfair but Brazil is a little hypocritical in this sense as it slaps huge import duties on almost all foreign produce in order to bolster locally produced produce. This not only leads to an unfair disadvantage for importers but to a lower quality of goods available to Brazialians due to lack of a competitive market. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:07:53 GMT+1 maheshswaha who cares what brazil thinks..all country in the world does the same. look at china...look at countries that produce oil...we dont need a third world country trying to preach.. Tue 09 Mar 2010 12:04:16 GMT+1 Joseph Cronshaw I agree with any country that stands up against a bully, who feels they have the right to threaten poor and defenceless countries and its people. A bully that thinks they have the right too exploit and intimidate because they are the leaders of the world, particularly when it comes too attacking and destroying any resistance to their dictate. The times has come when they should realise they do not have the right to impose their will on another country and its people, simply because they have the weapons and will too destroy opposition. The people of the world who were colonized have moved on from colonialism. Tue 09 Mar 2010 11:59:23 GMT+1 Sipahlyons This is a real shame; the US has known about this problem with and while Americans are without work, hungry, and education failing there is no health care, either. The corporate "ag" farms are siphoning off funds, and it's about time sanctions began. That being so, this did not begin recently but the prior administration moved the nation's economy into big business to a fault; that problem is over-shadowing politics today, and a halt must be put on these subsidies. Paying people not to work, for example, has never done anything for the nation, agriculture, or the growers - indeed, money's flowing to the wrong entity, again. Tue 09 Mar 2010 11:48:25 GMT+1 Khuli Good for Brazil. US growers may well 'need' subsidies but like all other businesses, if they can't make their product profitably, they should do something else. Subsidies do little for the American tax payer, since they can import cotton more cheaply than they can make it, and simply make it harder for other growers around the world to make a living. Presumably the US takes the attitude (arguably, not unreasonably) that their citizens take priority over foreigners. The same is equally true of European food subsidies, that do nothing other than prop up inefficient farms, at the expense of other nations that can produce more cheaply. Similarly it's the tax-payer that loses out, to keep a relative minority of people employed. Tue 09 Mar 2010 11:15:26 GMT+1 Peter Galbavy The whole system of subsidies globally need urgent revisiting. The EU farmers subsidies, the US cotton and others etc. should not exist. Goverment subsidies for local producers should only be allowed in response to short term need such as supporting farmers, manufacturers etc. after natural disasters or periods of serious economic hardship. There is also some merit in maintaining local capacity for potential future threats to national security, but not like now just to keep specific groups in the style to which they have become accustomed - including the endemic corruption that goes with it. Tue 09 Mar 2010 11:04:47 GMT+1