Mon, 07 Mar 2005


U.S. urges more negotiations

WASHINGTON: In response to a World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling that U.S. cotton subsidies are illegal, acting U.S. Trade Representative Peter Allgeier said on Friday that negotiations, and not litigation, can provide lasting solutions to trade disputes.

His remarks, made after an informal meeting in Kenya of 33 trade ministers, came in response to the ruling of the WTO appellate body on Thursday.

Brazil won its case, charging that U.S. subsidies to cotton farmers, which it said totaled 12.5 billion dollars between August 1999 and July 2003, are illegal and puts Brazil's cotton industry at a disadvantage.

"Developing countries cannot litigate their way to prosperity by challenging agriculture subsidies," said U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa. Grassley is the chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. -- DPA