Brazil-US in talks to end cotton war

BRASILIA - Brazil has delayed for another 60 days trade retaliation against the United States in an attempt to solve a long-standing dispute over US cotton aid, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry said yesterday.

The move comes after the US met the last of three conditions Brazil had set for suspending import duties on US goods.

Washington will pay Brazil about R10million a year in damages as a "technical assistance" fund to benefit farmers.

The fund may also be used to support the cotton sector in sub-Saharan Africa and in Haiti, the US department of agriculture said in a statement on the agreement with Brazil.

"The fund will continue until the next Farm Bill or a mutually agreed solution to the dispute is reached," the USDA said.

"During the next 60 days, the US and Brazil will negotiate a framework for a mutually agreed solution to resolve the cotton dispute," the statement said.

Brazil was set to impose tariffs and lift intellectual property rights protection on about R1billion worth of US goods.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said: "Thank God, we reached an accord and cotton will lose subsidies and poor countries of Africa like Benin ... will be able to live more comfortably and export cotton to the world market." - Reuters