Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Uruguay have participated in formals talks with Chile requested at the World Trade Organisation by Argentina, which has complained about provisional safeguard duties of 16% that it has imposed on imports of powdered milk and liquid UHT milk.

Initial consultations – which are the first stage of a WTO disputes procedure – were held yesterday (21 November). Argentina claims that Chile has broken the Agreement on Safeguards, a statement contested by Santiago.

If the talks fail to resolve the issue, it is likely that one of the complaining countries will request the creation of an arbitration panel.

By Keith Nuthall