THE EUROPEAN Union has launched the first stage of disputes proceedings at the World Trade Organisation over provisional safeguard duties imposed by the Philippines government on imports of glazed and unglazed ceramic wall and floor tiles. The European Commission has called for formal talks on the matter with the Filipino government; if these fail, then Brussels could ask a WTO panel to arbitrate on the matter. It claims that the Philippines has broken the trade body's Agreement on Safeguards.

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