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March 21, 2009

Trade body to rule on Thai-US plastic bag dispute
The World Trade Organization on Friday said it would rule on a trade dispute between Thailand and the United States over anti-dumping measures applied by Washington against Thai plastic bags.

"The panel was established," AFP quoted a WTO spokeswoman saying, referring to a WTO mechanism to look into the dispute.

In its request for the establishment of a dispute settlement panel, Thailand argued that anti-dumping measures imposed by Washington on imports of plastic bags from Thailand were "inconsistent" with international trade rules.

Bangkok said Washington had applied a controversial and complex method called zeroing in its calculation of the degree of dumping.

The calculation allowed the United States to argue that Thailand had "dumped" or sold the bags on the US market at less than the cost price in its domestic market, thereby allowing the US to impose sanctions, it added.

"The use of 'zeroing' led the United States to make a finding of dumping where none would have otherwise been made or to calculate inflated margins of dumping," said Thailand in its submission to the WTO.

Several WTO members have taken the United States to task over the application of zeroing, with the EU winning a case against Washington late last year.


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