Qatar Files Complaint Against Trade Boycott

Qatar has filed a formal complaint with the World Trade Organisation’s Dispute Settlement Body against countries that have imposed a blockade on it.

Complaint is filed to challenge a trade boycott by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The complaint accuses the blockading countries of violating the WTO’s core laws and conventions on trading of goods and services, and trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights.

The boycotting states cut ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017 accusing it of financing terrorism, and allying with Iran. Qatar denies these charges.

The WTO suit does not include Egypt, the fourth country involved in the boycott.

Although it has also cut travel and diplomatic ties with Qatar, Egypt did not expel Qatari citizens or ask Egyptians to leave Qatar.

The text of Qatar’s WTO complaint cites “coercive attempts at economic isolation” and spells out how the blockading countries are impeding Qatar’s trade rights.

The disputed restrictions include bans on trade through Qatar’s ports and travel by Qatari citizens, blockages of Qatari digital services and websites, the closure of maritime borders and prohibition of flights operated by Qatari aircraft.

The isolation campaign has forced Qatar to seek more expensive imports and reroute flights on costly detours over friendlier airspace.