The World Trade Organization 2004 ruling against U.S. cotton subsidies was not overturned by an appellate group of the WTO. The case was brought against the U.S. by Brazil, and the U.S. has challenged the decision and made changes to the program in an attempt to have it overturned.
"We're clearly disappointed with the findings that came out of the WTO," says Sean Spicer of the U.S. Trade Representatives Office. "We believe that the changes that were made by the United States to bring the challenge payments and guarantees into compliance with the WTO's recommendations did just that."
The U.S. can take the matter to arbitration before a WTO dispute panel according to Spicer. He says the prices the WTO looked at differed from current market prices.
"So the U.S. is not and has not been making payments tied to cotton production," Spicer says. "There is no basis to say U.S. payments are having any impact on cotton prices."