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WTO NEWS: 2004 NEWS ITEMS

Dispute Settlement Body 22 June 2004

DSB considers panel requests by the United States and Canada

At its meeting on 22 June 2004, the DSB considered for the first time two requests for panels: the first one by the United States to examine Mexican tax measures on soft drinks and other beverages (DS308/4); the second by Canada concerning the injury determination by the US International Trade Commission in the anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigation of hard red spring wheat from Canada (DS310/2). The two requests were blocked by the respondents.

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NOTE:
This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and Media Relations Division to help public understanding about developments in WTO disputes. It is not a legal interpretation of the issues, and it is not intended as a complete account of the issues. These can be found in the reports themselves and in the minutes of the Dispute Settlement Body’s meetings.


Implementation back to top

DS136 & DS162: US — Anti-Dumping Act of 1916

The US recalled that legislation repealing the 1916 Act was pending in both the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. The EC said that the US had not shown any progress on implementation since 29 January 2004. Also, the EC would like the US to indicate at the DSB meeting the next steps taken towards implementation. The EC recalled that it may use its right to suspend concessions. Japan said that it gravely regretted that on 26 May, a Federal District Court in its final judgment imposed on a Japanese company a payment of US$ 30 million damages under this Act. Japan strongly urged the US to take actions so that Japanese companies will not incur further damages. Japan emphasized that if the US fails to take the appropriate measures, it would have no other choice than the reactivation of the arbitration process.

  
DS176: US — Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998

The US stated that the US administration was continuing to work with the US Congress to find the appropriate statutory measures that would resolve this dispute. The EC said that the “US-Cuba Trademarks Protection Act” would ensure the protection of the intellectual propriety rights both in Cuba and in the US. Also, the EC recalled that the US government had been an active sponsor of the TRIPS. Cuba asked until when its government and other involved parties would have to face this indifference and contempt from the US government. Furthermore, Cuba wanted to know how long they would have to wait for the US to fulfil the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.

  
DS184: US — Anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel products from Japan

The US provided a status report informing that the US administration was continuing to work with the US congress. Japan said that while the deadline for implementation was 31 July 2004, the US did not show any progress in its implementation.

  
DS217 & DS234: US — Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000

The US recalled that legislation to bring the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act into conformity with US WTO obligations was introduced in the US Senate on 19 June 2003 and in the House of Representatives on 10 March 2004.

Among the complaining parties, Canada, Chile, EC, Chile, Japan and India deplored that the US continued to fail to repeal the “Byrd Amendment”. Canada reminded the US that repealing of the US WTO inconsistent measure was a preferred solution rather than retaliation. Japan urged the US Administration to repeal this Act, so that Japan and other complaining parties do not have to suspend concessions and other obligations to the US.

  

Request for panel establishment back to top

DS308: Mexico — Tax measures on soft drinks and other beverages

At this DSB meeting, for the first time the panel request (DS308/4) for the Mexican Tax measures on soft drinks and other beverages had appeared on its agenda. The US claimed that the Mexican tax measures discriminate against beverages and syrups made with any sweetener other than cane sugar.

Mexico disagreed with the US request judging it to premature. The DSB agreed to revert to this matter.

  
DS310: US — Determination of the International Trade Commission in hard red spring wheat from Canada

For the first time, Canada requested the establishment of a panel regarding the injury determination of the US International Trade Commission in hard red spring wheat originating in Canada (DS310/2). Canada considered that the US had violated its obligations under the Anti-Dumping Agreement and the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement.

In response, the US expressed its disappointment that Canada had decided to request a panel for this matter.

The US blocked this first panel request by Canada. The DSB agreed to revert to this matter.

  

Next meeting back to top

The next meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 20 July 2004.

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