Brazil Wins in Trade Dispute With U.S.

Brazil is claiming victory in a trade dispute with America over steep anti-dumping duties imposed on orange juice exports from the South American nation.

According to reports, the World Trade Organization found U.S.’ trade relief measures to be illegal under the organization’s rules.

“This report represents a significant victory for Brazil in a relevant topic to bilateral trade,” the Brazilian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Brazil has become the world’s largest exporter of orange juice in recent years, amounting to $1.7 billion annually. Around $400 million worth of orange juice is shipped to America each year.

The antidumping duties were applied earlier in the decade, around the same time that Brazil surged past the U.S. as the top producer of orange juice in the world. The duties totaled 19.19 percent to as much as 60.29 percent.

The complaint was filed last year by Brazilian officials who claimed that the way the U.S. calculated the duties and applied them were violations of international trading rules.

Zeroing is used by the Commerce Department when determining how steep anti-dumping duties on a specific imported product from a nation should be. The practice has been highly criticized because it does not take into account the products that are sold in the U.S. at or above fair market value.

The U.S. has defended the practice at the WTO numerous times over the years. Japan, the European Union and Mexico have all filed cases against the U.S. over the matter.

Because the practice has been deemed illegal, the U.S. Commerce Department has proposed phasing the use of it out. That has drawn applause from trading partners around the world.

“Brazil hopes the United States uses this proposal to end zeroing and to conform to WTO rules,” the Foreign Ministry said.

Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing economies, has been much more aggressive with the U.S. in trade disputes as of late.

A WTO arbitration panel ruled in August that the Brazilian government has the right to impose retaliatory tariffs amounting to nearly $300 billion on U.S. goods in response to an earlier ruling finding America’s cotton subsidies to be a violation of international trade rules.

The South American nation has also publicly attacked American ethanol subsidies, which is likely to be their next target.

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