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GENEVA (Reuters) – Colombia launched an appeal on Monday against a finding largely backing the European Union in a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute over import tariffs on frozen fries from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

The Geneva-based trade body said this would lead to the first proceedings before a multi-party arbitration system set up in response to United States’ crippling of the WTO’s own appeals body.

A WTO panel had earlier found that Colombia had made a series of errors in its determination that the EU frozen fries were being dumped.

Colombia imposed anti-dumping duties of between 3% and 8% on frozen fries in November 2018 after complaining that the prices of these imports were artificially low.

Although small in monetary terms – the EU as a whole exports just 19 million euros ($18.43 million) of frozen fries to Colombia per year – the dispute holds symbolic importance particularly for Belgium, which argues that it invented the “French” fry.

The duties affected 85% of EU exports of frozen fries to Colombia.

($1 = 1.0309 euros)


(Writing by Miranda Murray and Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Rachel More and Bernadette Baum)

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