cotton

The United States will cease paying a $147 million annual settlement to Brazil that is part of a long-running trade dispute over cotton subsidies, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday.

The United States agreed to pay the money to Brazil in 2010, just before the South American country was set to raise tariffs on hundreds of millions of dollars in American goods, including autos, pharmaceuticals and electronics. Stopping the payments could prompt Brazil to threaten retaliation again.

Vilsack said in an interview from Brazil that he doesn’t have the authority to continue payments when the budget year begins Oct. 1 because Congress hasn’t yet passed a farm bill or a budget.