Brazil wins ruling on U.S. orange juice tariffs

By Reuters
Posted Feb. 21 at 1:11 p.m.

Brazil said on Monday the World Trade Organization had made a final ruling in its favor in a dispute with the United States over anti-dumping measures imposed on its orange juice exports.

The decision by a WTO dispute panel, which Brazil’s foreign ministry said in a statement was a “major victory,” would be the second major trade dispute Brazil has won against the United States after a successful case against U.S. cotton aid last year.

Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of orange juice, had challenged the methodology of the U.S. Department of Commerce used in applying antidumping tariffs on Brazilian orange juice.

Despite recent signals of wanting to improve ties with the United States, the new administration of President Dilma Rousseff appears likely to remain tough on trade issues with Washington. Last week it criticized the U.S. position in global trade talks.

Brazil would not comment on the contents of the report but said the panel had confirmed its finding from an interim report on Dec. 20, 2010, the foreign ministry statement said.

In 2008, Brazilian authorities called U.S. representatives for consultations over anti-dumping investigations, and a panel was established in September 2009. Argentina, the European Union, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Taiwan Thailand joined the case as third parties, according to the foreign ministry.

The Brazilians complained the U.S. use of a methodology called “zeroing” did not accurately reflect the average price of their exported juice.

The United States imports 15 to 20 percent of Brazil’s orange juice exports, which totaled around $2 billion in 2010.

Once the report is made public, either side can appeal the decision within 60 days.

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