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WTO junks Panama's case vs. Argentina's tax transparency measures

The AppellateBody of the World Trade Organization rejected a case filed by Panama against Argentinaregarding its measures to prevent tax malpractices, Reuters reported.

Panama presentedthe case to the WTO after claiming in 2012 that Argentina "discriminated ineight ways" against countries for not providing information as part of thelatter's fiscal transparency efforts.

Panama saidArgentina discriminated against financial service suppliers based in "countriesnot cooperating for tax purposes."

During thattime, Argentina placed Panama on its list of countries not participating in taxinvestigations, although it had been removed later on. The WTO prohibits its membercountries from discriminating between suppliers from different suppliers, the reportsaid.

However, Argentinasaid that it was following recommendations by the OECD and Financial Action TaskForce, an anti-money laundering organization.

In the appealruling, Argentina was found neither to have broken any WTO rules nor adhered definitelywithin the rules. It decided, however, that Panama's original complaint lacked sufficientanalysis. Panama had won an initial ruling of the case in September 2015.

On the otherhand, the appellate body did state that countries could limit trade with countriesconsidered as "tax havens" for "prudential" reasons or complianceof national laws, through "a consistent and non-arbitrary manner."