US and Japan File WTO Case Against EU for Violations of Key Trade Agreement

US and Japan File WTO Case Against EU for Violations of Key Trade Agreement

News
On May 28, the United States filed a consultation request with the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding alleged violations by the European Union (EU) of core international commitments on high-tech trade. US Trade Representative Ambassador Susan Schwab announced the action in Washington. Japan announced that it was also filing a consultation request on the same day.

The EU has assessed import duties on three key high-tech products (flat-screen computer monitors, set-top boxes and multi-function printers) and threatened others. Under the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement – a landmark trade agreement negotiated in 1996 to promote the development and uptake of information technology products – participating governments are obligated to provide duty-free treatment to these and many other products.

The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) has led the effort on behalf of the high-tech industry on this matter and is represented by WilmerHale.

The parties have 60 days to consult, after which a WTO dispute settlement could be established to resolve the dispute.