October 20, 2011 / 6:14 PM / in 6 years

Dominican Republic loses preliminary WTO ruling

GENEVA, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization has issued a preliminary ruling against the Dominican Republic’s tariffs on imports of polypropylene bags and tubular fabric, according to a text obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

The case was brought by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala after the Dominican Republic introduced a 38 percent tax on the imports as a temporary measure to protect its own producers.

Use of such temporary protection, so-called “safeguard measures”, is permitted under WTO rules if a specific industry is at serious risk because of an increase in imports.

But the preliminary report, which was issued by the WTO’s dispute settlement body on Wednesday and is likely to be finalised near the end of November, agreed with the complaint and found the Dominican Republic’s action was not justified. (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)

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