Formal talks at the World Trade Organisation’s headquarters in Geneva have been called for by the European Commission, which has invoked the first stage of a WTO disputes procedure with Chile, over the republic’s plans to erect a 16% safeguard duty on imports of powdered milk and liquid UHT milk.

Representing the EU, Brussels has claimed that “from the scant information available so far,” the rules on setting up such tariffs “have not been satisfied.”

Chile has to show that there has been a stark increase in imports of a product, which has caused domestic producers problems, if it wants to justify the duty. “The available facts do not justify the conclusion,” claimed the Commission.

By Keith Nuthall