European Union challenges Brazil’s taxes at the WTO image

The EU launched a case against Brazil at the World Trade Organization over Brazil’s taxes on imports ranging from cars to computers, but insisted the dispute should have no bearing on delicate free-trade talks.

The European Union is Brazil’s biggest trading partner – accounting for a fifth of its total exports – and both sides are close to agreeing a far-reaching trade accord seen as crucial to the South American nation’s emergence as a major world economy.

After 10 rounds of talks between Brussels and Brasilia and several meetings in Geneva, home to the WTO, neither side have managed to resolve a long running row over Brazilian car import taxes that Europe says are unfair and break global trade rules.

“The protection of Brazil’s domestic industry comes at the expense of Europe’s imported goods and that is unacceptable,” said a EU official close to the discussions. “We have had many bilateral meetings but Brazil has taken no concrete steps.”

The European Commission, which handles trade issues for the EU’s 28 members, and the Brazilian government now have 60 days to try to end the dispute or face a legal process that could allow Brussels to impose sanctions, although that is years off.

Via Automotive News Europe