Argentina and Chile have been holding discussions at the World Trade Organisation, over a potential dispute over provisional safeguard duties imposed by Buenos Aires on imports of Chilean canned peaches containing syrup. If the talks fail to resolve the issue, Chile could request that a formal disputes panel be formed that would adjudicate. Paraguay, acting as the current president of the South American trade bloc MERCOSUR, recently informed the WTO that Argentina has also launched a formal investigation which could lead to the imposition of definitive safeguard duties on the tinned fruit, an act which would reduce the likelihood of a prompt solution to the row.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent