Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Manila tells Bangkok to comply with WTO ruling on cigars

Manila on Monday urged Bangkok to fully comply with a World Trade Organization ruling that found Thailand of unfair treatment of cigarette imports from the Philippines.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Ambassador Esteban B. Conejos Jr., permanent representative to the World Trade Organization, delivered his first official statement at the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) meeting held last August 31.

In his statement, Conejos thanked Thailand for its fifth status report and for its statement made at the DSB meeting, but said a number of matters remain unresolved, more than three full months after the end of the reasonable period of time.

The representative from Thailand had noted that the Philippines and Thailand have continuously engaged in bilateral exchanges and discussions with a view of achieving a mutually satisfactory outcome to the dispute.

Conejos added that the Philippines has sought to address these outstanding matters on a bilateral level, short of a return to formal dispute settlement.

“Whether that dialogue has been fruitful will become clear in the coming weeks, when we assess whether Thailand has followed through on specific actions committed for specific timeframes agreed during our bilateral discussions,” he said.

Conejos said the Philippines has been patient and has exercised restraint well beyond the end of the reasonable period of time given to Thailand to implement the DSB ruling.

“Nonetheless, I have been instructed by my capital to communicate, in clear and concise terms, that our patience and restraint will end should the milestones addressed in our bilateral discussions pass without resolving the outstanding issues. While the Philippines reserves fully all of its rights, we stand ready, between now and then, to do anything we can to assist Thailand in achieving full compliance,” Conejos said. -Black Pearl (September 03, 2012 10:45PM)

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