LatinNews Daily - 29 September 2022

In brief: Panama-Costa Rica trade tensions rise

* Panama’s trade & industry minister, Federico Alfaro, has underlined that there is a case before the World Trade Organization (WTO) in relation to a trade dispute with Costa Rica regarding measures imposed by Panama that restrict or prohibit the import of products such as strawberries, dairy products, meat products, pineapples, and bananas from Costa Rica. Alfaro, who tweeted that both countries had recognised the WTO's "competence and suitability" to resolve the dispute, is responding to comments made by his Costa Rican counterpart Manuel Tovar, who told a legislative committee yesterday (28 September) that Costa Rica was preparing to tax Panamanian products as a reprisal for the measures imposed by Panama. In August 2021 Costa Rica formally requested the establishment of an arbitration panel at the WTO in relation to the case. This follows the formal request for consultations announced in January 2021. Costa Rica claims that the import restrictions are inconsistent with provisions under the WTO'’s Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994).

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