A dispute settlement panel was established by the World Trade Organization on Monday after complaints were lodged by Brazil and Canada about U.S. farm programs.
Some of the payments that the complaints are based on have not existed since the expiration of the 1996 Farm Bill more than five years ago. "The United States has designed its farm programs to ensure compliance with the existed negotiated limits on domestic support," U.S. trade official Juan Millian says. "We believe that a panel will agree."
Gretchen Hamel, a spokesperson for the U.S. Trade Representative's office say now that the panel has been established, the U.S. will strongly defend its farm programs.
The WTO has 45 days to name members to this panel. After investigating the claims, the panel will make a ruling sometime in 2008.