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Canada and Norway appeal WTO ruling backing EU seal ban

Norway and Canada have appealed a ruling by the WTO that backs a European Union ban on the import and sale of seal products, the Geneva-based body announced Monday. In a statement, the World Trade Organization said Oslo and Ottawa filed their appeals on Friday. In general, WTO appeal rulings are issued within three months. In November, the WTO disputes settlement body ruled that while there was merit in Norway and Canada's complaints over the 2010 EU ban, that was outweighed by the goal of addressing moral concerns about seal welfare.

In Davos, nations vow to extend global trade deal that cuts red tape

DAVOS, Switzerland - Trade ministers from many of the world's biggest economies pledged to broaden a deal to boost global trade Saturday, with the U.S. saying nothing is off-limits for discussion. At a Swiss-hosted meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, ministers from China, the European Union, Japan, the U.S. and 15 other nations agreed to build on the "positive momentum" of a World Trade Organization summit last December in Bali where the organization's 159 member economies agreed to cut customs red tape.

Major trade powers pledge free trade in green goods

By Paul Taylor DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - The world's biggest trading powers pledged on Friday to work toward a global agreement on free trade in environmental goods, but they gave no timeline for talks intended to support the fight against climate change. The United States, European Union, China, Japan and several other developed economies said in a joint statement that the agreement would take effect once there is participation by a critical mass of members of the World Trade Organization.

Federal agriculture minister optimistic in battle over country-of-origin labelling

CALGARY - Canada's agriculture minister sees reason for optimism in an ongoing trade battle with the United States over meat labelling. Gerry Ritz says the chairman of a U.S. congressional committee has requested that his Department of Agriculture back off on labelling rules that have prompted Ottawa to threaten retaliation. Country-of-origin labelling (COOL) rules are blamed for complicating the import of meat into the U.S. from Canada and for reducing the amount of Canadian exports to the country by half since 2008.

WTO sets up panel to rule on Mexico-US tuna label feud

The WTO on Thursday set up a panel in a renewed attempt to settle a dispute over US "dolphin friendly" labels which allegedly hit imports of Mexican-caught tuna, trade sources said. The United States rejects Mexican charges that it has failed to fall into line with a 2012 ruling on the issue by the World Trade Organization's dispute settlement body. As a result, Mexico asked the Geneva-based WTO to set up what is known as a compliance panel to assess Washington's respect for the May 2012 decision.

WTO to hear SKorea complaint over US washer tarrifs

The WTO has been called in to settle a dispute between South Korea and the United States over duties the latter imposes on imported washing machines, trade sources said Thursday. The Geneva-based body, which polices respect for global trade accords in an effort to offer its 159 member economies a level playing field, set up a dispute settlement panel to rule on the issue. World Trade Organization rules allow member economies to slap duties on products which are "dumped", or sold at cut prices in order to grab market share, to the detriment of domestic industries.

U.S. seeks talks with China over duties on high-tech steel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is asking China to participate in formal talks over Chinese duties on U.S. high-tech steel exports following a World Trade Organization dispute. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Monday that the United States disputed China's statement that it had brought duties on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel (GOES) in line with WTO rules. Such steel is used in the cores of high-efficiency transformers, electric motors and generators

Next TPP ministerial meeting to be put off to February

Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks will hold the next ministerial round of negotiations in mid-February, instead of January as earlier planned, negotiating sources said Friday. The trade ministers from 12 countries have postponed the meeting as it appears premature to negotiate at a ministerial level due to the gulfs that remain in positions among the countries, the sources said.

WTO chief expects resolution of US-Brazil cotton feud

World Trade Organization (WTO) chief Roberto Azevedo said Thursday he expected Brazil and the United States to reach a deal on their cotton dispute. Brazil's foreign trade council Camex on Wednesday said it would hold public consultations next month before deciding if it will apply cotton sanctions in protest at US subsidies. The two countries reached agreement on the issue in 2010 but Camex said it was preparing the ground for "possible application of sanctions," a move which won the approval of Brazil's National Industry Confederation (CNI).

EU takes Brazil to WTO over import curbs

The European Union Thursday took Brazil to the World Trade Organization for alleged discrimination against imports and helping its exporters illegally. The European Commission said it had asked for talks with Brazil under WTO dispute settlement provisions "on tax measures that discriminate against imported goods and provide prohibited support to Brazilian exporters."
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