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    WTO Rules in Tunisia's Favor Over Textbook Export Dispute With Morocco

    The WTO has ended the two-year dispute, asserting that Morocco's actions failed to comply with the organization's Anti-dumping Agreement.

    01 Aug 2021

    Rabat - The World Trade Organization (WTO) has sided with Tunisia in the long-running dispute between Morocco and Tunisia over potential textbook-dumping.

    In January 2019 Morocco set anti-dumping duties, targeted at reducing unjustly low prices of Tunisian school textbook imports. The tariffs range between 15.69% and 27.71%. On February 21 of the same year, Tunisia filed a complaint to the WTO for the purpose of getting the tariffs dropped.

    Tunisia's price cutting was examined by a three-member WTO panel to assess what exactly constitutes a 'normal' textbook price. The three-people panel found that Morocco's anti-dumping measures were ultimately inconsistent with WTO's policies on the issue, recommending that Morocco modify its tariffs to meet the requirements of the Anti-dumping Agreement.

    In 2020, citing 'the number and complexity of the questions before the panel in this case,' the chair of the panel said that it 'intended to issue its final report to the parties in the first half of 2021.'

    According to the panel's conclusion, Morocco's actions were incompatible with the Anti-Dumping Agreement because it did not conduct an 'objective examination' on Tunisia's 'price undercutting, price depression and prevention of price increases.'

    The two year dispute was not the first of its kind. Tunisia has also complained to the WTO about Morocco's anti-dumping measures on Tunisian textbooks in 2018, along with its 2019 complaint charging Morocco with breaking the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.

    During the 2018 dispute, the at-the-time Government Spokesperson Mustapha El Khalfi stressed that what Morocco had done was 'in accordance with the World Trade Organization’s rules,' adding that Tunisian textbooks were 'flooding' the Moroccan market.

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