WTO: 2013 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.

DS429: US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Shrimp from Viet Nam 

Further to its first request made at the January 2013 DSB meeting, Viet Nam made its second request for the DSB to establish a panel to examine this dispute.  The US said that it was disappointed that Viet Nam had chosen to proceed with its second panel request but would defend its interests in the panel proceedings.  The DSB established a panel in accordance with the Article 6 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding with standard terms of reference.  The EU, China, Japan, Norway and Thailand reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel’s proceedings.

 

DS285: US — Measures Affecting the Cross Border Supply of Gambling and Betting Services

Dominica, speaking on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda, said that Antigua and Barbuda was disappointed at the lack of compliance by the US and its failure to identify a single measure designed to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings.  Furthermore, Antigua and Barbuda was concerned that, at the January 2013 DSB meeting, the US had used terms such as “theft of intellectual property” and “government-authorised piracy” in relation to the lawful and expressly authorised use of trade remedies provided for in the WTO agreements. 

In Antigua and Barbuda’s view, the use of such intemperate and dismissive language by the US was a fundamental challenge to the WTO and a reputational assault both on the DSB that had given the approval for intellectual property (IP) suspensions and on Antigua and Barbuda that had sought its right to exercise it.  Antigua and Barbuda called on members to defend the WTO’s fundamental principles and to ensure that its rulings are applied equally by all countries despite their size. 

Trinidad and Tobago (speaking on behalf of CARICOM), Haiti, Jamaica and Barbados supported the statement made by Dominica on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda.  Brazil, Cuba and China also supported Antigua and Barbuda and urged the US to engage with Antigua and Barbuda so as to reach an amicable resolution to the dispute. 

The United States noted that Antigua and Barbuda had assured the DSB that it would notify and provide specific details about how it would implement the suspension of concessions and that Antigua and Barbuda would not encourage or allow itself to become a haven for IP piracy. With regard to the status of the dispute, the US did not agree with Antigua and Barbuda’s view that the US had been unwilling to negotiate in good faith.  The US had been following the established, multilateral WTO process for responding to the DSB’s findings and had, in 2007, begun the process of modifying its Schedule of Specific Commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).  The US had offered substantial compensatory adjustments in other service areas and every member had agreed to the compensation package except Antigua and Barbuda.  The US had also sought to offer Antigua and Barbuda elements other than new services concessions.  The US remained open and ready to engage with Antigua and Barbuda to find a solution.

 

Status reports

Several members (US, EU and Thailand) submitted status reports on different disputes. The US and Brazil reported that they had reached a mutually satisfactory solution in the dispute “US — Anti-Dumping Administrative Reviews and Other Measures Related to Imports of Certain Orange Juice from Brazil” (circulated as document WT/DS382/12).

 

Other business

Under “Other Business”, the Chairman made a statement regarding the process for the possible reappointment of one Appellate Body member, Mr Ricardo Ramírez, for a second four-year term of office.   In that regard, the Chair recalled that, at the December 2012 DSB meeting, he had informed delegations that the first four-year term of office of Mr Ramírez would expire at the end of June 2013.  At that meeting, he had announced that Mr Ramírez was interested and willing to be reappointed for a second four-year term.  He had also invited delegations with views on this matter to contact him directly.  At the January 2013 DSB meeting, he had informed delegations that the consultations were on-going and again invited delegations to contact him directly on this matter.

The Chair informed delegations that, in light of those consultations, a consensus was likely to emerge on the issue of reappointment.  In that regard, the matter would be placed, for a decision by the DSB, on the agenda of the next regular meeting to be held on 26 March 2013.

 

New chairman

The DSB elected, by acclamation, Ambassador Jonathan Fried of Canada as its new Chairman.  The EU, US, Saudi Arabia, Morocco (on behalf of the African Group), China, Canada, Brazil, India and Turkey thanked the outgoing chair and welcomed the incoming chair.

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