EU launches WTO cases against India, Turkey

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags are seen outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium April 1, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union has launched two World Trade Organization disputes against India over import duties on IT products and against Turkey over measures affecting pharmaceutical producers.

The European Commission, which oversees trade policy for the 28-member European Union, said in a statement on Tuesday that the total value of affected EU exports was more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) per year.

In the case against India, the EU is challenging the introduction of import duties of between 7.5 and 20 percent for a wide range of IT products, such as mobile phones and components, as well as integrated circuits, the Commission said.

In the case against Turkey, the Commission said the bloc is challenging measures that force foreign pharmaceutical producers to move their production to Turkey.

The first step of WTO dispute settlement is a 60-day consultation period. The EU can request a WTO panel ruling on the cases if the consultations do not resolve the issues.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Gabriela Baczynska