Furlan questions US subsidy


By Ivone Portes, ONLINE SHEET - 30/03/2005

Development Minister Luiz Fernando Furlan said yesterday that the trade barriers imposed by the United States on Brazilian products cause competition as unfair as piracy, a problem that has been pointed out by the Americans as an obstacle to develop trade negotiations and a reason for retaliation against Brazil.

The minister's statements were made in the presence of US Senator Norm Coleman (Republican), chairman of the Western Hemisphere Subcommittee of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The two participated in the opening of the seminar “Brazil against Piracy”, promoted by Fiesp (Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo).

“Unfair competition is not just about transgressions such as fraud and counterfeiting of products, as is the case with piracy. Unfair competition also occurs due to entry barriers to products [Brazilian in the USA and other markets], and subsidies that often make countries like Brazil and others non-competitive, "said Furlan.
Due to piracy, last week the American group Defenders of Property Rights announced that it plans to request the withdrawal of Brazil from the tariff preferences granted under the SGP (General System of Preference).

World problem

Minister Furlan emphasized that the problem of piracy is not unique to Brazil. According to him, this is a worldwide problem, including the United States.
Furlan added that Brazil is doing its part in combating piracy to become the country of legality.

The US senator, in turn, said that the problem of US subsidies related to foreign trade should be dealt with in the WTO (World Trade Organization), and highlighted the fact that, in the European Union, there are “ten times more subsidies than in the United States ”.

“The minister [Luiz Fernando Furlan] just mirrored what reality is. In other words, this is one of the factors that affect the competitiveness of nations, ”said Coleman.
According to the senator, there is still no decision on a possible removal of Brazilian products from the United States' preferential system. In addition, according to him, the deadline for this decision has already been postponed several times and may be postponed again.