A World Trade Organisation panel has backed the United States, Japan and Taiwan in their bid to overturn controversial EU tariffs on three electronics products, a source familiar with the proceedings said on Monday.
The three countries sued the European Union at the WTO in July 2008, saying EU duties on flat-panel displays, multifunction printers and TV set-top boxes violated the WTO's International Technology Agreement (ITA).
The ITA, which eliminates import duties on goods such as computer screens and printers, seeks to boost trade in high-tech goods around the world.
The panel handed its interim report to participants last Friday. A final report, which rarely makes any substantial changes to the interim report, was expected in September.
"The report says that the EU's technology tariffs violate its obligations to the WTO," the source said, declining to provide more details.
The EU's executive Commission said it was studying the report. "It is a technical, complex issue," spokesman John Clancy said. He declined to say more because the report was confidential.
The EU in September 2008 called for an overhaul of the ITA, saying new products and markets should be added to the list.
The EU imported about $11 billion worth of the three products from all suppliers in 2007, with tariffs ranging from 5 to 14 percent.
ReutersLast Mod: 14 Haziran 2010, 20:03