Brazil's government has hiked import tariffs on 100 products to help protect domestic industry from foreign competitors.
The move has increased worries the globe's No. 6 economy will increase trade protectionism as its economy sputters amid the continued global slowdown.
But Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel says hiking tariffs on most of the products to 25 percent is within Brazil's rights as defined by the World Trade Organization. He says tariffs compensate for price differences on the products caused by continued doldrums amid the world's top economies.
The list of products targeted ranges from potatoes to kitchenware to various industrial metal parts.
Former Finance Minister Rubens Ricupero tells the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper that the measure taken late Tuesday is protectionist and will do little to support local industry.