September 10, 2004
September 10, 2004 -- The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled that payments to U.S. cotton farmers were illegal under global trade rules.
The United States will appeal parts of the WTO panel ruling, stated U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, since the facts do not show that U.S. farm programs have distorted trade and caused low cotton prices.
The dispute was brought to the WTO by Brazil as part of an effort by developing and food exporting nations to push wealthy governments to slash spending on farmers.
In the last two weeks of August, international cotton prices turned around after declining for most of the previous three months. The upswing has partially been brought about by weather-related factors in the United States.