WTO to rule on US-Indonesia clove cigarette row: sources

20th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

The World Trade Organization will rule on a dispute brought by Indonesia against the United States over a ban on sales of Indonesian clove cigarettes, trade sources said Tuesday.

A panel was established Tuesday, sources said after a meeting of the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.

Washington has banned the production and sales of clove cigarettes under a health act that also blocks the sales of other flavoured cigarettes such as grape, coffee or strawberry, in a bid to prevent the young from getting hooked on smoking.

But Indonesia argued that the act had not been applied uniformly as it did not cover menthol cigarettes.

Underlining the importance of the clove cigarettes industry to the country, Indonesia claimed that the livelihoods of over six million Indonesians depend directly or indirectly on their production.

© 2010 AFP

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