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The World Trade Organisation dispute settlement body has ruled in favour of India on the charges levelled by the US on additional duties for wine and spirits imports. The verdict is yet to be announced officially.

Both the European Union and the US had approached the WTO about the additional duties on wines and spirits on the grounds that it was not WTO-compliant. The Indian government, in turn, lifted some of the high taxes it imposed on foreign wines and spirits in 2007 and the EU responded by withdrawing its complaint. The US, however, persisted but sources said the trade watchdog ruled that India had not acted inconsistently with its WTO obligations. The exact details will be known when the ruling is released.

Meanwhile, Australian ambassador Bruce Gosper took over as the chairman of the WTO General Council on February 6. He will steer the negotiations for the current year, a vital one for the WTO as it could see a new deal for the conclusion of the Doha Round.

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