WTO appeals body issues ruling in complicated US-India wine dispute

Business Materials 31 October 2008 00:17 (UTC +04:00)

A World Trade Organization appeals panel has declined to uphold or overturn a February decision that sided with India in a dispute over taxes on American wine and spirits, the Associated Press reported.

The 83-page ruling Thursday struck down some of the earlier findings, but said the U.S. had not produced evidence that India was breaking international trade rules.

It also faulted India for failing to justify the taxes, leaving the dispute in a sort of legal limbo.

One legal expert says the verdict allows India to walk away from the case, but could provide the United States with fodder for a new legal complaint.

Brendan McGivern, a partner at White & Case law firm in Geneva, said "basically there is no ruling."

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in Washington said it could not immediately comment.