In 2004, the World Trade Organization ruled that much of the U.S. cotton program was in violation of trade rules and demanded sweeping reform. Dr. Gary Adams, Vice President of Economics and Policy Analysis for the National Cotton Council, says phases of that dispute with Brazil are still on going.
The United States last Friday blocked Brazil’s request for the WTO to investigate the U.S.’s compliance with the ruling. According to Adams the U.S. won’t be able to block the request again.
The next meeting of the WTO's dispute settlement body is September 28. Should Brazil make a second request for a panel, Adams says the timeline for a decision could run into 2007.