Furlan says that WTO's decision favorable to Brazil on steel was expected

10/11/2003 - 20h59

São Paulo, November 11, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - The condemnation announced on Monday (10) by the World Trade Organization (WTO) of barriers imposed by the United States against steel exports from various countries, including Brazil, China, and New Zealand, was expected, according to the Minister of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan.

"The victory was expected, because, when Brazil goes before the WTO, it does so with a great chance of success. So far our failures in the WTO have been minimal, and even some of these have been reversed, as was the case with Embraer," he said.

The US had set tariffs as high as 30% on foreign steel. According to Furlan, the measure is legally valid but will still take a while to cause a real impact on Brazilian steel exports.

"At this moment, the impact is irrelevant, because the WTO does not guarantee the implementation. It is a legal right, but, operationally, the country can spend a long time to put it in place," he affirmed.

In its decision the WTO advised the United States to remove the barriers to foreign steel or be penalized by economic sanctions equal in value to the harm caused to steel-producing countries whose business was affected.

The Minister participated in the ceremony to inaugurate the Week of Brazil in the Middle East (Brazilian Week & Trade Exhibition). (DAS)