Thunderbird Case

Brazil vs. the U.S. at the WTO: The U.S.-Brazil Cotton Subsidy Dispute

Case #: 
A03-13-0015
Fields: 
Business, government, and international policy
Author(s): 
Roy C. Nelson
Abstract: 

Brazil won a WTO trade dispute against the U.S. over U.S. cotton subsidies. Brazil has been authorized to retaliate, not only by imposing retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. but also by revoking intellectual property rights protection on various items, including patents for selected U.S. pharmaceutical products and copyright protection for U.S. movies and music. Rather than revoke IPR protection, the Brazilian Ambassador to the WTO, Roberto Azevedo, has decided to offer a deal: the U.S. can make an annual payment to Brazilian cotton farmers. The objective is to embarrass members of the U.S. Congress as they negotiate the U.S. Farm Bill, so that they will drop the cotton subsidies altogether.

Teaching: 
  • To teach international managers about the WTO dispute settlement process—how it works in theory and practice
  • To demonstrate Brazil's new assertiveness in global trade.
Industry: 
Cotton
Setting: 
Brazil
Length: 
7 pages
Source: 
Library
Published: 
2013
Subject: 
Business, Government, & International Policy