Ruggiero's speeches, 1995-99
Case DS108 US Tax treatment for foreign
The DSB approved the US request to extend until 1
November 2000, its 1 October 2000 deadline for
implementing the panel and Appellate Body rulings. The US
said this is necessary since a new law is in its final
stages in Congress. The delay would also allow the EU to
examine the new law, the US said.
The EU presented the solution which the two sides agreed
on how to proceed (document WT/DS/108/12).
The bilateral understanding sorts out what some consider
to be an ambiguity in the rules (the Dispute Settlement
Understanding) over procedure when the two sides in a
dispute disagree over whether a ruling has been
implemented properly, and when retaliation might be
For this particular case, it would allow a swift panel
ruling (and if relevant, appellate ruling) should the EU
seek a decision on whether the new law complies with WTO
agreements. It would also allow the EU to ask the Dispute
Settlement Body to authorize retaliation afterwards, if
the ruling is in its favour.
India welcomed the understanding and said it expects the
US and EU to behave similarly in other disputes since
they use the dispute system to its maximum
and are therefore responsible for ensuring the system is
predictable and secure.
Japan also welcomed the understanding but said it cannot
be applied to disputes involving other members. The
understanding confirms that Articles 21 and 22 of the
Dispute Settlement Understanding need to be clarified,
Case DS170: Canada Term of patent protection
The Dispute Settlement Body adopted the panel and
Appellate Body reports. The case deals with the 17-year
term of patent protection (from the date of patent
approval) for patents filed before 1 October 1989.
(Patents filed after that are given 20 years protection
from the date of filing and were not at issue in this
Canada said its interpretation of these reports is
different from the rulings, but accepted the ruling and
would inform the DSB about implementation at the next
meeting on 23 October. The US urged Canada to comply
quickly because one-third of the 17-year patents expired
before 1 January this year and another 13,639 would
expire this year.