The EU has brought two disputes in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against India and Turkey for unlawful import duties on Information and Communication Technology products by the former and unlawful measures on pharmaceuticals by the latter.
In both cases, significant economic interests and important legal principles at stake for the EU as the total annual value of affected European exports is estimated at more than €1 billion.
“This is a clear violation of WTO rules and puts many EU jobs at risk. We hope that we will be able to resolve both cases during the upcoming WTO consultations,” said Cecilia Malmström, the EU’s Commissioner for Trade.
In the case against India, the EU is challenging the introduction of import duties on a wide range of ICT products, including mobile phones and components, base stations, integrated circuits, and optical instruments.
The Commission said the bloc is also challenging measures that force foreign pharmaceutical producers to move their production to Turkey if they want their medicines to be eligible for reimbursement for consumers under the Turkish health system.
The first step of a WTO dispute settlement is a 60-day consultation period. The EU can request that a WTO panel rules on the cases if the consultations do not resolve any of the outstanding disputes.
Since the start of the Juncker Commission in November 2014, the EU has won 9 WTO cases. This led to the removal of discriminatory taxes and illegal customs duties or other trade obstacles affecting exports of EU companies worth €10 billion per year in key markets such as Russia, China, US, and several countries in South America.