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ARGENTINA: EU breaking WTO trade rules claims Argentina

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The Argentine government has launched the first stage of disputes proceedings at the World Trade Organisation against the European Union, which it accuses of breaking WTO rules through its winemaking regulations.

Notably, Buenos Aires says that the EU Regulation EC/1493/1999 includes requirements on oenological practices that are "more trade restrictive than they should and could be." In its statement, Argentina claimed that import restrictions imposed as a result on certain wines were inconsistent with WTO free trade rules.

Meanwhile, the Argentines have accused the EU of unfair trade discrimination by signing a series of bilateral treaties with other WTO member governments. The deals have benefited these wine traders with exceptions to the EU regulation's restrictions on the acidification of wines with malic acid. Under WTO rules, special concessions should not be offered to one member country without being offered to others.

Argentina has called for formal consultations with the EU on these problems. If these do not resolve the dispute, it could call for a WTO panel to adjudicate.


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