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New WTO challenge to Australia plain-packaging tobacco law

A battle against Australia's plain tobacco packaging rules gained pace at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday, as Indonesia won the right to seek a ruling by the global body. Trade sources said that the WTO's disputes settlement body had agreed to set up an independent panel of trade and legal experts in order to assess whether Australia is breaching the rules of global commerce. Canberra has faced a raft of challenges to its tobacco legislation, passed in 2011 and in force since December 2012, which politicians hope will curb the numbers of people smoking.

China's rare earth trade limits break global rules

China has broken the rules of global commerce by restricting exports of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum, a move that benefited domestic industries, a World Trade Organization panel said on Wednesday. The WTO disputes settlement body said that Beijing's deployment of export duties and quotas, plus limits on who could trade in what are key raw materials for hi-tech goods, skewed global commerce against fellow nations. In a trade ministry statement issued by its diplomats in Geneva, China said it regretted the ruling and was considering its options.

WTO rules against China 'rare earth' trade curbs in dispute with US, EU and Japan

GENEVA - The World Trade Organization ruled Wednesday that China has violated international trade rules with its restrictions on the export of 17 "rare earths" and two other minerals that have key industrial and high-tech uses. Responding to complaints filed by the United States, the European Union and Japan, the WTO dispute settlement panel found that China's restrictions "breach" its obligations to the world trade body because the country could not properly justify them.

WTO panel says China's rare earth export caps violate rules

A World Trade Organization panel determined Wednesday that China's export restrictions on rare earth minerals violate WTO trade rules, backing arguments made by Japan, the European Union and the United States, Japanese government officials said. In its final report, the WTO dispute settlement panel set up in 2012 called on China to take corrective measures to its rare earth export restrictions. China may appeal the panel decision within 60 days.

China's rare earth trade limits break global rules

China has broken the rules of global commerce by restricting exports of rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum, a move that benefited domestic industries, a World Trade Organization panel said on Wednesday. A WTO disputes settlement panel said that Beijing's deployment of export duties and quotas, plus limits on who could trade in what are key raw materials for making electronic goods, skewed global commerce unfairly against fellow nations.

India hardens stance against U.S. protectionism ahead of visits

By Manoj Kumar and Rajesh Kumar Singh NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's trade minister on Tuesday accused the United States of excessive trade protectionism, launching a broadside that coincided with the visit of a top U.S. official to patch up a stormy bilateral friendship. Trade friction between the two countries has increased ahead of a general election in India, amid lingering tension over the recent arrest and strip search of a female diplomat in New York suspected of visa fraud.

Minister hints at possible opening of rice market

SEJONG, March 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will soon decide whether to open its rice market to foreign suppliers, the agriculture minister said Monday, a move that has been postponed for the past 20 years in exchange for a large import quota. "The country must give its decision on whether to open its rice market to the World Trade Organization (WTO) by September," Lee Dong-phil said in an exclusive interview with Yonhap. "The government will make its decision by June."

Japan-U.S. summit on Pacific trade talks unlikely: source

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama are unlikely to have negotiations over deadlocked regional free trade talks when Obama visits Japan in April, a government source said Wednesday. Speculation was growing that the leaders would seek a breakthrough after no broad agreement was reached at ministerial meeting on a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement held through Tuesday in Singapore.

Japan-U.S. summit on Pacific trade talks unlikely: source

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama are unlikely to have negotiations over deadlocked regional free trade talks when Obama visits Japan in April, a government source said Wednesday. Speculation was growing that the leaders would seek a breakthrough after no broad agreement was reached at ministerial meeting on a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement held through Tuesday in Singapore.

Panel to probe China compliance claim in WTO steel row

A panel of trade experts was created Wednesday at US behest to test China's claim that it has complied with WTO rules regarding duties on certain US steel products. Washington has questioned China's claim that it has brought its duties on US exports of grain-oriented flat-rolled electrical steel into compliance with World Trade Organisation rules. The creation of the experts' panel was decided at a meeting of the global trade body's Dispute Settlement Board (DSB).
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