WTO: 2012 NEWS ITEMS

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

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NOTE:
This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and External 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.

DS440: China — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Automobiles from the United States

The DSB authorized the establishment of a panel to study the complaint by the United States against China on anti-dumping and countervailing duties applied by China to automobiles from the United States.

Justifying its request, the United States said that China’s dumping and subsidy determinations in the autos investigations appear to involve “profound procedural and substantive deficiencies”, and in conducting these investigations, China “appears to have breached a number of its obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, the Anti-dumping Agreement and the Subsidies Agreement”.

China said it regretted the request for the panel since it had hoped to solve the matter bilaterally through negotiations. The imports at issue were “dumped on the Chinese market and were subsidized by the US, causing injury to the domestic industry of China”. China claimed to have acted in a manner consistent with its WTO obligations.

WTO members that asked to exercise third-party rights in the dispute were the European Union, Japan, Turkey, Korea, Saudi Arabia, India, Colombia and Oman.

 

DS353: United States — Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft — Second Complaint

Concerning the dispute between the United States and the European Union on measures affecting trade in large civil aircraft, two measures were taken.

The request by the European Union to take countermeasures against the United States for US$ 12 billion (EUR 9.35 billion) annually for alleged failure by the United States to comply with the recommendations of the DSB to withdraw the subsidies provided by the United States to its large aircraft industry (Boeing) was referred to arbitration.

The EU said that the amount of countermeasures requested was consistent with the adverse effects caused by the “unprecedented amount of subsidization” of its rival aircraft, which, according to the EU, still continues.

The US said that it had filed an objection to the request of the EU to impose countermeasures and to the level of them (see document WT/DS353/19) but it had no objection that the matter be referred to arbitration in accordance with EU/US agreed procedures for this particular dispute contained in the understanding between the two countries reached in April 2012 (see document WT/DS353/14).

The request by the EU and its justification for requesting countermeasures is in document WT/DS353/18.

The DSB also authorized the establishment of a panel requested by the European Union (a “compliance panel”) to study whether the claim by the United States that it had withdrawn its subsidies to Boeing could be sustained.

The US notified the DSB in September 2012 that it had withdrawn the subsidies to its large civil aircraft industry in accordance with the DSB recommendations (see document WT/DS353/15), but the EU disagreed with this claim (see document WT/DS353/18).

Members requesting to exercise third-party rights in this matter were Japan, Korea, Canada, China and Australia.        

Also concerning this dispute, the DSB took note of the divergent views of the US and the EU over the EU’s request to initiate a procedure for gathering information concerning the “serious prejudice” caused by the subsidies, in accordance with Annex V of the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. The EU also wanted DSB authorization for the designation of a facilitator in this information-gathering procedure. However, the US did not agree to this because it considered that there was no legal basis for initiating the procedures or appointing a facilitator.

 

Submission of reports

Several members submitted reports on their implementation of recommendations adopted by the DSB.

 

Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 19 November 2012.

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