WTO ‘rules against Brazil’ on stimulus

The World Trade Organisation has ruled that some Brazilian industrial stimulus programs hurt foreign competitors, a government official says, in a major blow to a country struggling to shore up its industry amid a crippling recession.

The preliminary ruling, which has not been made public yet, backs the challenge by Japan and the European Union against industrial policies they say have hurt their producers, said the official who was briefed on the matter and asked for anonymity to speak freely.

Brazil’s foreign ministry said the government will analyse the initial WTO panel report before the organisation makes a final decision, but did not reveal its content, stating the document was confidential.

The programs implemented in 2011 gave tax breaks and other benefits to companies that manufactured cars and communication technology goods in the country.

A ruling against Brazil will add pressure on the country to scale back industry subsidies at a time when it is struggling with its worst recession in memory.

Earlier on Friday, Brazil moved to launch a WTO case of its own to challenge US tariffs on some Brazilian steel imports.

Brazil is also facing a probe into its sugar exports to China and weighing whether to drop its actions at the WTO against Thailand’s support for its sugar sector.

Originally published as WTO ‘rules against Brazil’ on stimulus

Leave a Reply