The United Arab Emirates has filed a lawsuit against Qatar at the World Trade Organization (WTO), in the wake of Doha’s decision to ban the sale of Emirati products in Qatari markets.
“The move comes following the Qatari Ministry of Economy's ban on the sale of consumer goods manufactured in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, as well as the decision of the country's Ministry of Public Health to stop pharmacies from selling medicines and other products coming from the four countries,” a report by the Emirati news agency WAM said.
“Qatar has also removed the names of UAE companies from the list of approved vendors for infrastructure projects and has maintained an undeclared ban on products coming from the UAE.”
The report described the measures taken by Qatar as “a flagrant violation of WTO rules”, saying Qatar made that decision after “its commencement to settle disputes against the UAE through the WTO in August 2017, which is still an ongoing case. However, rather than respecting the WTO to rule on its complaint, Qatar has instead decided to impose unilateral retaliatory measures, violating the very same rules it claims the UAE is violating.”
Rules by WTO state that members who claim that another member has violated a WTO agreement must submit such claims to the Dispute Settlement Body.
The rules also ban members from unilaterally taking action in retaliation for alleged WTO violations.
“Having filed a WTO case, Qatar cannot now disregard the rules of the WTO and impose retaliation on its own without a WTO decision,” the report said.