Venezuela has been fighting consistently against US sanctions before the World Trade Organization [WTO], which included the one imposed against its controversial cryptocurrency, Petro, amongst many others.
The Venezuelan government filed a complaint to the WTO last month, which was recently published, and it states various actions taken by the US recently. It claims that the US is interfering on Venezuela’s rights under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade [GATT], which was signed in 1994, and the General Agreement on Trade in Services [GATS]. The complaint states:
“The United States has imposed certain coercive trade-restrictive measures on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in the context of attempts to isolate Venezuela economically.”
Venezuela had announced the development of a cryptocurrency, Petro, in 2017 and the launch of the same took place in 2018. The cryptocurrency has since been in use in various industries on orders by their President, Nicolas Maduro.
However, this did not go down well and has seen pushback from the US lawmakers, who have criticized the cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency faced more resistance from the President of US, Donald Trump, who signed off on an executive order targeting Petro in March 2018.
Venezuela’s government claimed that these sanctions by the US are discriminatory coercive trade-restrictive measures. The complaint also claims that the Venezuelan financial services and financial suppliers receive “less favorable” treatment in comparison to other WTO nations.
The Venezuelan government notes that these measures are violating the Article II:1 of the GATS, that stated that no member nation will treat another member less favorably than any other nation, reported Cryptoscanner. The complaint submitted also states that:
“Furthermore, inasmuch as digital currencies originating in the United States are not subject to the same prohibitions as Venezuelan digital currencies, the United States is according less favorable treatment to Venezuelan financial services and service suppliers than to like domestic financial services and service suppliers, in violation of Article XVII:1 of the GATS.”
Article XVII:1 states that the nations part of WTO will not treat financial services and service suppliers of other nations less favorably than they treat such providers in their own country. As per Reuters, the US has 60 days to respond to the complaint filed by Venezuela. If the US fails to respond to this, Venezuela can ask the World Trade Organization to decide upon the complaint.
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