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December 19, 2007

WTO to investigate US farm subsidies

The World Trade Organization (WTO) established an expert panel on Monday to investigate and rule whether high-level US farm subsidies violate WTO regulations, as alleged by Canada and Brazil.

The panel was set up at a regular meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), which is usually participated by all 151 members of the world trade body.

Canada and Brazil filed similar complaints on the U.S. farm subsidies in June and July respectively. They made separate panel requests after bilateral consultations with Washington failed to solve their dispute.

But the DSB decided on Monday to merge the two cases and establish one single panel.

Canada and Brazil have complained that the United States had kept high-level subsidies on a wide range of crops, including corn, wheat, soybeans and sugar, and these subsides severely violated Washington's WTO commitments.

They also complained of a U.S. export credit guarantee policy that may violate WTO regulations.

Courtesy Xinhua

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