UAE files WTO complaint over Qatar goods ban

UAE gov't initiates World Trade Organisation proceedings against Qatar following its ban on sale of UAE products
UAE files WTO complaint over Qatar goods ban
By Sam Bridge
Tue 29 Jan 2019 03:07 PM

The Government of the UAE announced on Tuesday that it has initiated World Trade Organisation (WTO) dispute-settlement proceedings against Qatar following its ban of the sale of UAE products in Qatari markets.

The move follows the Qatari Ministry of Economy's ban on the sale of consumer goods manufactured in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, as well as the decision of the country's Ministry of Public Health to stop pharmacies from selling medicines and other products coming from the four countries.

State news agency WAM reported that Qatar has also removed the names of UAE companies from the list of approved vendors for infrastructure projects and has maintained an undeclared ban on products coming from the UAE.

The measures taken by Qatar are a flagrant violation of WTO rules, the UAE said, adding that Qatar took this action after its commencement to settle disputes against the UAE through the WTO in August 2017, which is still an ongoing case.

It said Qatar has decided to impose unilateral retaliatory measures, violating the very same rules it claims the UAE is violating.

WTO rules stipulate that members who claim that another member has violated a WTO agreement must submit such claims to the Dispute Settlement Body. The rules explicitly prohibits members from unilaterally taking action in retaliation for alleged WTO violations, WAM said.

It added that the UAE’s termination of relations with Qatar is an essential security action, not a trade one.

On the contrary, Qatar’s unilateral retaliatory actions are pure trade actions designed to discriminate against UAE goods, while local goods and other commodities coming from other WTO members benefit from this action, WAM added.

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