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Insight: Brazil protects its ... wines?

• Reuters Brian Winter

Nevertheless, Brazil is considering steps to protect its tiny domestic wine industry from an onslaught of imports, in what may be the most bizarre - and controversial - example to date of rising trade protectionism in South America.


President Dilma Rousseff's government recently agreed to evaluate an emergency request from Brazilian wine producers that, if approved, could raise tariffs on many imported wines from countries including Chile, France and Spain. A final decision is expected by August, officials say.


The temporary protection measure, known in trade parlance as a "safeguard," has been hailed by some winery owners as their only possible salvation. They argue that Brazil's overvalued currency, high taxes and other soaring costs have left them unable to compete with imports.

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