GENEVA Dec 12 Panama filed a complaint against
Argentina at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, in the
latest of a string of cases accusing it of imposing unfair
restrictions on imports.
It was the eighth WTO dispute involving Argentina since May
- equal to the total number of complaints brought to the global
trade body last year.
The United States and the European Union have already
accused the government of Cristina Fernandez of effectively
blocking imports to protect Argentina's sputtering economy.
They filed cases against Argentina earlier this year alongside
Japan and Mexico.
Argentina has also filed two complaints against the United
States and one against the EU.
Argentine officials have blamed rich countries for causing
the global financial crisis and accused them of rigging global
trade rules to stop developing countries prospering.
The WTO said Panama had cited Argentina's taxes, rules
governing the registration of companies and restrictions on
financial service providers, among other issues.
Details of the complaint, Panama's first since July 2007,
are likely to be published within the next few days.
Under WTO rules, the filing triggers a 60 day period in
which Argentina can try to settle the dispute. After the 60
days, Panama can ask the WTO to arbitrate, a process that could
end with Argentina being forced to change its laws.