The United States and the Government of Brazil have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a fund for technical assistance and capacity building related to the cotton sector in Brazil.

Under the MOU, the fund may also be used for activities related to international cooperation in the cotton sector in countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in Mercosur member and associate member members, in Haiti, or any other developing country as the parties may agree upon. The MOU also includes procedures to ensure transparency and auditing of the expenditures made from the fund.

This MOU is part of the path forward for the Cotton dispute that the United States and Brazil reached earlier this month. With the conclusion of the MOU, Brazil has announced that countermeasures will not be imposed in the Cotton dispute for at least 60 days. The fund is scheduled to continue until the next farm bill or a mutually agreed solution to the Cotton dispute is reached. The MOU also provides that the United States also may end the fund if Brazil imposes countermeasures.

This process builds upon the strong relationship with Brazil, and demonstrates how the two countries can work together to address challenges.

During the next 60 days, the United States and Brazil will continue their work by negotiating a framework for reaching a mutually agreed solution to resolve the Cotton dispute.

For background information see http://southeastfarmpress.com/news/WTO-trade-0408/.