Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 03/14/2007. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


In 2002, Brazil filed a complaint about U.S. cotton policies with the World Trade Organization (WTO). After initial consultations and review of the Brazilian complaint, the WTO established a dispute resolution panel in March 2003. The panel returned a ruling in favor of most of the objections in Brazil’s petition in September 2004. The United States appealed this decision but the WTO Appellate Body upheld the original judgment in a ruling issued on March 3, 2005. The cotton subsidy case is of importance for the U.S. cotton industry, but it also has implications for other U.S. commodities. The federal programs used to support grains and oilseeds are similar to the ones found to be in violation of the United States’ WTO commitments in the cotton case.