UPDATE 1-Panama files WTO dispute against Colombia over textile tariffs

Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:05am EDT

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GENEVA, June 18 (Reuters) - Panama has launched a complaint at the World Trade Organization to challenge Colombia over its import tariffs on textiles, apparel and footwear, the WTO said in a statement on Tuesday.

Panama is arguing that Colombia's effective import tariff on those products is higher than the maximum allowed under its WTO membership agreement, the WTO said. Panama also says Colombia wrongly imposes specific duties on the imports in the dispute.

It is the third time that Panama has complained to the WTO about the way Colombia treats its imports. The first complaint was withdrawn in 2006 after the two agreed a solution. Colombia lost the second in 2009 and was told to bring its laws into line with the WTO rules.

Details of the latest dispute were not immediately available and are likely to be published by the WTO later this week.

Under WTO rules, the filing triggers a 60-day period in which Colombia can try to settle the dispute. After the 60 days, Panama can ask the WTO to judge the matter.

Panama is also pursuing a wide-ranging WTO dispute against Argentina, which it launched in December last year, and will trigger the WTO's adjudication process at a meeting next week, having failed to resolve the problem at the negotiating table. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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