May 27, 2008 / 7:15 PM / 10 years ago

USTR expected to launch tech case against EU

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is expected to file a new World Trade Organization case against the European Union in a dispute over EU tariffs on computer monitors and other technology products, congressional aides said on Tuesday.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab briefs media after meeting European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson (not pictured) in Brussels, January 21, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The aides, who spoke on the condition that they not be identified, said they expected U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to announce the action in a press conference she has scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Schwab’s office issued a “media advisory” on Tuesday saying Schwab would make an announcement regarding the European Union and the WTO’s Information Technology Agreement.

However, a spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office would not comment on whether Schwab would be announcing litigation on Wednesday.

Schwab has warned the United States was considering a WTO case against the EU because of tariffs ranging up to 14 percent that Brussels imposes on LCD monitors larger than 19 inches in size, set-top boxes and multi-function printers.

The United States has tried unsuccessfully to persuade the EU that those products should receive duty-free treatment under the Information Technology Agreement, which eliminated tariffs on a broad range of technology goods.

“We’re kind of burned out on the jaw-boning side of the equation. It’s not working,” said Schwab said at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

“We are looking at going to resolution on the ITA with the World Trade Organization,” Schwab said then.

U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab briefs media after meeting European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson (not pictured) in Brussels, January 21, 2008. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Editing by Sandra Maler

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