US lawmakers have agreed to continue to compensate Brazilian cotton farmers to the tune of $147.3m a year after voting against a proposal to end the annual payments.

The amendment was put forward as part of the the government-wide spending bill voted on by members of the House Appropriations Committee, but was rejected by 183 votes to 246.

The payments are part of a deal struck with Brazil, which has agreed to postpone until 2012 a series of retaliatory measures against American goods which had been planned as part of a long-running dispute over cotton subsidies.

Under the deal, which is supported by the World Trade Organization (WTO), Brazil will put off more than $830m worth of tariffs on US imports in return for the $147.3m annual payment to Brazilian farmers.