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Punitive duties: Pakistan drags EU to WTO

Punitive duties: Pakistan drags EU to WTO

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan took the European Union to the World Trade Organisation, challenging the latter’s move of imposing punitive duties on Pakistani exports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

As per details, Pakistan is of the view that the EU has violated the WTO rules by imposing anti-subsidy duties on PET, which is used in synthetic fibres, plastic bottles and food containers.

Under WTO rules, the EU has a 60 days time to try to settle the dispute through talks with Pakistan otherwise Pakistan can ask the WTO for the setting up of a panel to adjudicate.

It is to be noted that Pakistan exported PET worth over $200 million last year, according to data from the International Trade Center, a UN-WTO joint venture.

Although its exports have grown, sales to the EU have dwindled in the past few years. The EU accounted for over 80 per cent of Pakistan’s foreign sales of PET a decade ago, but less than 10 per cent of Pakistani PET exports went to the EU in 2013, which a market of over $4.3 billion imports of the material.

The dispute is the first that Pakistan has initiated in almost a decade and its first against the EU. It previously launched three disputes – two against the United States and one against Egypt, which was settled in 2006.