Brazil Retaliates Against U.S. Protectionism

Brazil’s March 8 announcement to place tariffs on many U.S. imports in the next 30 days is due to America’s irresponsible protectionist policy on cotton.  The U.S. provides subsidies to U.S. cotton producers in order to compete on the global market with lower prices, which the WTO deemed unfair last year in the dispute dating back to 2002.  Since then the U.S. has taken no steps to reduce cotton subsidies, and the WTO granted permission to Brazil to retaliate. Brazil’s retaliation includes huge tariffs on cotton (up to 100% from 6%-35%), cars (up to 50% from 35%) and other goods such as wheat up to 30% from 10%. Even though Brazil is not a large importer of U.S. goods, both U.S. and Brazilian consumers will suffer from rising prices, which harm consumers even more during poor economic times. Additionally, U.S. producers affected by the tariffs will lose market share in Brazil which ultimately means more layoffs in the U.S. Thank you, President Obama and U.S. Trade Representative Kirk for continuing protectionist policies that hurt U.S. consumers, U.S. business and U.S. employees, and harm developing countries’ cotton producers who can’t compete with heavily subsidized cotton growers.