Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Apr16/04)
12 April 2016
Third World Network
Brazil files disputes at WTO over bovine meat, sugar subsidies
Published in SUNS #8215 dated 6 April 2016
Geneva, 5 Apr (Kanaga Raja) -- Brazil has initiated dispute proceedings
at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over certain Indonesian measures
on bovine meat imported from Brazil as well as over alleged subsidies
provided by Thailand to its sugar industry.
Both are in the form of requests for consultations, the first step
in the dispute settlement process.
According to trade officials, in its request for consultations with
Indonesia dated 4 April 2016, Brazil challenged measures that result
in an import ban on certain bovine meat products, a quantitative restriction
on bovine meat products and discrimination between Brazil and other
suppliers of these products.
Brazil has also challenged a number of specific measures including
restrictions, quarterly import quotas, discriminatory assignment of
quotas, certain sanitary measures as well as technical regulations
and import licensing requirements.
In its request for consultations with Thailand, also dated 4 April
2016, Brazil complained that Thailand imposes a quota and price control
system that guarantees a high price for sugar produced for domestic
consumption and cross-subsidizes sugar produced in excess of this
quota which must be exported.
According to Brazil, Thailand also provides additional payments to
cane sugar growers and subsidies to convert agricultural land from
rice to cane production, and to develop additional manufacturing capacity
to turn cane into sugar.
According to trade officials, Brazil said that these measures violate
Thailand's obligations under the Agreement on Agriculture and the
Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement, as the export
subsidies are not specified in Thailand's schedule.
In addition, the domestic support exceeds the total levels specified
in Thailand's schedule and in some cases are prohibited under the
Both respectively are the fifth and sixth disputes initiated by WTO
Members so far this year.
According to trade officials, 13 requests for consultations were filed
by WTO Members in 2015, while 14 requests were filed in 2014.
Under the WTO dispute settlement procedures, when a request for consultation
is made, the Member to which the request is made shall reply to the
request within 10 days after the date of its receipt and enter into
consultations in good faith within a period of no more than 30 days
after the date of receipt of the request.
If the consultations fail to settle the dispute within 60 days after
the date of receipt of the request for consultations, the complaining
party (Brazil) may request the establishment of a panel. +