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Venezuela launches WTO legal challenge against US sanctions

AFP  |  Geneva 

launched a legal challenge at the Tuesday against a raft of US sanctions, even as announced new measures targeting the crisis-hit country.

Venezuela's complaint takes aim at four rounds of sanctions adopted by against last year.

The measures target Venezuela's financial system and key members of Nicolas Maduro's inner circle.

The new sanctions announced by the Tuesday, which are not named in Venezuela's WTO complaint, focus on seven individuals including the owner of network Globovision for allegedly plundering billions of dollars through black-market currency exchanges.

In the complaint circulated to the WTO's 164 members, accuses of trying "to isolate economically".

The complaint, known as "a request for consultations" in WTO parlance, accuses the US of multiple violations of international trade law, including the illegal use of "coercive trade-restrictive measures".

Under WTO rules, the US has 60 days to respond to Venezuela's complaint, posted Tuesday on the WTO website.

If the two sides fail to reach a compromise through consultations -- a near certainty given the hostility between the Trump and Maduro governments -- can ask for an arbitration panel to hear the case.

The complaint came days before Maduro is to be sworn in for a new term after a controversial re-election.

Venezuela has faced a mounting economic crisis as prices sag for its and Maduro's socialist government struggles to ensure supply of medicine and basic foods.

Inflation is expected to soar to 10 million per cent in 2019, according to the

More than 2.3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, with the expecting the number to surpass 5.3 million this year.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 23:40 IST