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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
Requests for panel back to top
are cases that have completed the consultation phase, the first stage of a
dispute. When consultations have failed, member governments are entitled
to ask for a panel to be set up to examine the dispute. According to the
rules, the respondent can reject the first request. At the second request,
a panel is automatically established.
DS322: United States — Measures relating to zeroing and sunset reviews
Japan explained that this dispute was about the
inconsistencies of the US' “zeroing” methodology used for calculating
dumping margins. It was also about the incorporation by the US of the
result of a calculation using “zeroing” in its anti-dumping procedures,
Japan noted that previous panel and Appellate Body decisions had
consistently held that such zeroing procedures conflicted with the WTO
Anti-Dumping Agreement. Japan cited the cases of European Communities —
Anti-dumping measures on imports of cotton-type bed-linen from India
(DS141, brought by India) and United States — Final dumping
determination on softwood lumber from Canada (DS264, brought by
Japan asked for the establishment of a panel.
The US said that it would vigorously defend its measures. The US did not
accept the establishment of a panel.
The EC explained that following the findings in the “bed-linen” (DS141) dispute, the EC had ceased to use zeroing. The EC advised the US
to do as it did.
Japan's first panel request was therefore blocked by the US.
DS323: Japan — Import quotas on dried laver and seasoned laver
Korea said that Japan had maintained extremely restrictive import quotas
on dried laver* for more than 50 years. Korea added that these quotas were
patently inconsistent with Japan's WTO obligations and requested that a
panel be set up.
Japan answered that its import quota system on dried and seasoned laver
was fully consistent with WTO Agreements and had been duly notified to the
Japan blocked Korea's first panel request.
[*Laver is a seaweed.]
Panels established back to top
DS320: United States — Continued suspension of
obligations in the EC — Hormones dispute
In its second panel request, the EC wondered how much time the US would
need to review the studies and documents supporting the new EC Hormones
Directive. The EC commented that the new Directive had already been in
place for more than a year. The EC said it would respond to the US'
request under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement for an explanation
of the reasons for the new EC Hormones Directive.
The US said that it had requested this explanation on 13 December 2004 and
complained about the EC's lack of response. The US had hoped that the EC
would provide the scientific evidence and explanation behind its new
measure before seeking a panel, the US said. The US added that the EC
claims lacked merit and that a panel would agree.
The DSB agreed to establish a panel. The following members requested to be
third parties: Australia, Canada, Mexico, Chinese Taipei and China.
The EC first requested a panel on 25 January 2005 but the United States
DS321: Canada — Continued suspension of obligations in the EC — Hormones
The EC said that it requested a panel for a second time because Canada
continued to act against its WTO obligations.
Canada said that although the EC now considered itself to have complied,
there was no multilateral confirmation of this. The EC's position that its
unilateral determination and declaration of compliance overrode and
annulled Canada's multilateral authorisation was legally untenable, Canada
The DSB agreed to establish a panel. The following members requested to be
third parties: Australia, United States, Mexico, Chinese Taipei and China.
The EC first requested a panel on 25 January 2005 but Canada blocked it.
Implementation back to top
After a ruling has been adopted, the DSB keeps
under surveillance the implementation of the ruling until the issue is
DS217 & DS234:
US — Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (Byrd
The US announced that on 7 February 2005 the US Administration had
proposed repeal of the Byrd Amendment in its budget proposal for fiscal
The EC welcomed this news but commented that the same proposal had been
made last year and the year before and that there had been absolutely no
action in the US Congress.
The EC recalled that the total amount distributed so far under the Byrd
Amendment was more than US $1 billion and said that the President's Budget
forecasted a distribution of US $1.6 billion starting on 1 October 2005.
The EC added that in the absence of immediate US action, it would have no
other option than to exercise its retaliation rights.
Japan commented that there remained in US Congress proponents of the Byrd
Amendment who believed that a WTO member should be able to use its levied
anti-dumping or countervailing duty money to subsidize domestic industry.
Canada said that it had conducted an extensive public consultation process
with Canadians on its retaliatory options and was currently assessing
Other implementation cases
There are no new developments to report since the last DSB meeting on the
DS176: US — Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998
US — Anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel products from Japan
DS160: United States — Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act.
DS204: Mexico — Measures affecting telecommunications services.
Compliance panel established back to top
At the end of the period given to a government
to comply with a ruling, the parties to the dispute sometimes disagree on
whether that government is really complying. Any member government
involved in the dispute can ask for the original panel to decide whether
the ruling has been applied properly.
DS108: United States — Tax treatment for “foreign sales corporations”
The EC announced that it had suspended its countermeasures on US products
following the repeal of the US Foreign Sales Corporation /
Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act 2003 (FSC/ETI). On 31 January 2005,
the Council of Ministers adopted a measure, retroactive as from 1 January
2005, providing for the suspension of sanctions on all US products, the EC
The EC explained that the suspension did not only reflect a positive
response to the US action but also its conviction that a WTO member should
only determine another member's compliance through the appropriate WTO
dispute procedures rather than unilaterally.
The EC added that its panel request did not eliminate its readiness to
find ways with the US to solve the dispute.
The EC therefore asked for a panel to be set up under
DSU Article 21.5 to rule on whether the US was now complying with the DSB’s rulings.
The US said that since the FSC/ETI tax benefits had been repealed as a
result of the US American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, the EC was
challenging what remained — the transition rules. The US said that the EC
had never identified any particular commercial problems caused by these
The DSB agreed to refer the matter raised by the EC to the original panel.
Australia and China requested to be third parties.
The EC first requested a compliance panel on 25 January 2005 but the US
meeting back to top
The DSB will meet on 25 February to examine the
case DS277 on United States
— Investigation of the International
Trade Commission in softwood lumber from Canada and on 28 February to look
at the case DS322 United States
— Measures relating to zeroing and
The next regular DSB meeting will be on 21 March 2005.
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