This Thursday, July 21, will be known whether Colombia will comply or not the failure of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Favorable twice to Panama, about a dispute over a mixed tariff imposed by the South American country on the importation of footwear and textiles, as affected trade in the Colon Free Zone (CFZ).
So far, the Colombian authorities today submitted to the WTO proposal on how to take the decision, have given no indication of whether or not dismantle the measure, which the organism considered as violating the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT ).
The Foreign Office minister, Augusto Arosemena, said Wednesday that he discussed the case with his Colombian counterpart, Maria Clauda Lacouture, but uncertainty persists: «We still do not know what will happen. The measure expires on July 30. It is an important date we are monitoring to see what happens. «
When in doubt, Arosemena met yesterday with business associations to discuss what measures can take the country if Colombia does not adopt the final judgment of the Appellate Body of the WTO announced on 7 June.
Besides being worked on modifying the law of retaliation, which would be an option, Arosemena confirmed that there are «alternatives» but that can not be revealed yet.
Jorge Garcia Icaza, president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap), believes that «Colombia should do the right thing and abide by the WTO ruling.»
In March, Colombia extended by four months the effect of the compound tariff, established by decree in January 2013.
«You do not want to threaten prematurely. What we are is preparing for at the time, if Colombia does not do what you have to do, Panama do what you have to do, «he said.
A Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism of Colombia hereby confirmed by the end of June, the portfolio was consulting with entrepreneurs and producers in the textile and footwear on how to proceed with the WTO ruling.
According to a publication of the newspaper Portafolio July 8, «before the end of this month, Colombia would issue a new mechanism of protection for domestic producers of footwear and textiles.»
However, he continues, to date the authorities have not found «the most effective, convenient and legal way.»
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