WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

WTO NEWS: 1995 PRESS RELEASES

WT/TPR/OV/1
1 December 1995

Overview of developments in International Trade and the Trading System

Annual Report by the Director-General

The World Trade Organization came into being on 1 January 1995. There were 76 Members from the beginning, and an additional 36 Members will have joined by 13 December 1995, bringing the total to 112. Five principal tasks have been assigned to the WTO: to facilitate the implementation of the results of the Uruguay Round; to provide a forum for multilateral trade negotiations and a framework for the implementation of their results; to administer the dispute settlement procedures; to administer the Trade Policy Review Mechanism; and to cooperate with the IMF and the World Bank with a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policy making.

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INTRODUCTION Back to Top

This report is directly related to the fourth task. Part G of Annex 3 of the WTO Agreement provides for the Trade Policy Review Body to undertake, as part of the Trade Policy Review Mechanism, an annual overview of developments in the international trading environment which are having an impact on the multilateral trading system. The overview is to be assisted by an annual report by the Director-General setting out major activities of the WTO and highlighting significant policy issues affecting the trading system. This is the first such report under the WTO.

The first two parts of the report deal with 1995 and cover, respectively, trends in world output and world trade, and WTO activities. Part III considers policy issues which are likely to confront the trading system in the coming year.

I. WORLD OUTPUT AND TRADE IN 1995 Back to Top

The outlook for the OECD countries (as a group) for the whole of 1995 is for an expansion of GDP of 2½ per cent, somewhat below the 3 per cent recorded in 1994, as steady growth in Western Europe is off-set by slower growth in North America and nearly stagnating output in Japan.(2) Economic growth is expected to be higher in Africa this year than in 1994, but slower in Latin America. In developing Asia, the outstanding growth in 1994 (8½ per cent) is expected to be repeated in 1995. Overall, GDP growth in the developing countries this year is projected to be more than double the rate in the OECD countries (as was the case in 1994). Among the transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe, a continued recovery of output is expected this year, with average GDP growth in these countries close to the world average. Output is projected to once again decline in the Russian Federation, but at a considerably smaller rate than in 1994. For the world economy as a whole, GDP growth in 1995 is expected to be close to last year's 3 per cent gain.

Following the strong growth of world trade in 1994 - the 9½ per cent increase in the volume of world merchandise trade was the largest annual gain in nearly two decades - 1995 is expected to record slightly slower trade growth. Actual merchandise trade figures, as distinct from forecasts, are available on a value basis for the first six months of 1995 for most of the leading traders (collectively, they account for three-quarters of world merchandise trade). On a regional basis, the data suggest that Asia's import growth once again exceeded its export growth. In the first six months of 1995, the imports of Central and Eastern Europe rose by one-third, compared with an increase in exports of about one-quarter. The Russian Federation, in contrast, reported higher export than import growth (24 and 15 per cent, respectively). North America's exports and imports, which are less affected by the valuation effect of the dollar's depreciation, expanded at rates (18 and 15 per cent, respectively) somewhat below the global average.(3) Latin America's exports also expanded faster than imports, while in Western Europe there was a balanced expansion of exports and imports (by about one-quarter). Trade growth in Africa and the Middle East was boosted by a recovery of prices for fuels and other primary products. However, the exports and imports of these two regions are estimated to have again grown less than the global average.

Overall, the rate of growth in the value of world merchandise trade in the first half of this year, relative to the first half of 1994, was nearly double the increase recorded for all of 1994 (23 versus 13 per cent). This gain, however, is largely the result of the valuation effect of the US dollar's depreciation, by 12 per cent against the ECU and by 14 per cent against the Japanese yen, during the first six months of 1995 relative to the same period in 1994. Another factor was the recovery of prices for fuels, coffee and agricultural raw materials. Together, the exchange rate movements and price increases led to a higher growth in the value of exports and imports for all major regions in the first half of 1995 compared with all of 1994.

These value figures are consistent with the projected deceleration in the growth in the volume of world merchandise trade in 1995 to around 8 per cent. At 8 per cent, the growth will be close to triple the growth of world production, continuing the pattern - evident since 1990 - in which trade growth exceeds output growth by a much wider margin than was the case, on average, during the preceding four decades. As is discussed in the recent WTO Annual Report, this is strong evidence that global integration is continuing at a fast pace.(4)

In the first half of 1995, the dollar value of world exports of commercial services rose faster than the 8 per cent gain recorded in 1994. Information available for the principal exporters and importers of commercial services indicates that, as in 1994, the expansion of global trade in commercial services lagged well behind that of merchandise trade.

The current outlook for 1996 is for the volume of world output to continue growing at about the same pace as in 1994 and 1995. Although world merchandise trade is projected to expand in 1996 at a rate somewhat below that for 1995, it will still be close to double the growth in world output and above the average growth of world trade for the past decade.

II. WTO ACTIVITIES IN 1995 Back to Top

This section reviews WTO activities in 1995. Unless otherwise noted, the discussion refers to developments during the period from the beginning of the year to mid-November.(5)

(1) Progress in implementing the Uruguay Round results Back to Top

A top priority in 1995 has been the implementation of the results of seven years of negotiations in the Uruguay Round. For the purpose of reviewing progress, the implementation of Uruguay Round commitments can be divided into three (partly overlapping) categories: first, fulfilment of notification requirements; second, implementation of substantive commitments to (i) bring domestic legislation into conformity with WTO obligations, and (ii) implement scheduled increases in market access (and additionally in the area of agriculture, reductions in export subsidies and domestic support); and third, fulfilment of various tasks (such as annual reviews) laid down in the WTO agreements. Implementation of substantive commitments is listed second, even though it clearly is the most important of the three categories, because an understanding of developments in the notification area is a prerequisite to a discussion of progress on substantive commitments.

Implementation of notification requirements. The negotiators of the WTO agreements recognized that a system of rules was only as good as its implementation, and that the best way to ensure that the rules and other commitments are being respected was to provide the transparency necessary for collective surveillance. The primary instrument for ensuring such transparency is notifications made by each Member and reviewed by the relevant bodies of the WTO. That being said, it is not easy to determine the extent to which Members are fulfilling the 175 notification requirements which the Working Group on Notification Obligations and Procedures identified in the goods area.(6) Many involve, for example, ad hoc notifications of specific actions only as they occur. However, the task is easier in those instances in which - for all or some well-defined sub-group of Members - notifications are required irrespective of whether a particular action/program/law exists or has been taken or introduced (in other words, "nil" notifications are required as appropriate). Responses to 12 such notification requirements are summarized in Appendix Table 1.

In some instances, notably the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, less than 10 per cent of the Members had notified subsidy programs pursuant to Article 25 of the Agreement and Article XVI:1 of GATT 1994 by 30 June 1995 (that is, within the stipulated time frame; since then additional notifications have been received, but the response rate remains below one-quarter). In other agreements the picture is brighter. Almost 90 per cent of the Members subject to notification requirements under the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing have notified the first stage of their integration programs.

It is evident that the smaller developing countries face particular problems with the expanded notification obligations in numerous areas of the WTO Agreement. This is confirmed not only by Appendix Table 1, but also by the increasing demand for technical assistance in this area. However, there also are instances where the absence of notifications is not limited to the smaller traders, including state trading, customs valuation, subsidies, and preferential rules of origin.

Concerns have also been expressed regarding the completeness and comparability of notifications in some areas, and the potential need for strengthened verification mechanisms. To give one example, several Members have notified that they have no (or perhaps one or two) subsidy programs, while other Members have notified a considerable number of such programs. This may simply reflect differences in use of subsidies among Members, but it may also reflect differences in interpretation of the Agreement. In either case, the issue of completeness and comparability of notifications and the accuracy of the current verification mechanisms may deserve further attention.

Responding to concerns with the administrative burden of notifications and with duplication, the Working Group on Notification Obligations and Procedures has identified four general subjects for examination: (i) duplication/overlapping of notification obligations in Annex 1A agreements; (ii) simplification of data requirements and standardization of formats; (iii) improvement in the timing of the reporting process (uniform periodicity); and (iv) assistance to some developing countries in meeting their notification obligations. The Group is working towards submitting its recommendations next year in time for the Council on Trade in Goods to consider them in the preparations for the Ministerial Conference.

As regards notification requirements in the services area, mention should be made of a recent Note by the Secretariat which discusses two requirements for GATS members (S/C/W/11). One is a requirement for each member to notify, within 12 months from the date on which the WTO Agreement takes effect for it, existing recognition measures. For founding members, this deadline expires on 31 December. As of 27 November, no such notifications had been received. The other is a requirement to notify promptly and at least annually new or revised laws, regulations or administrative guidelines which significantly affect trade in services covered by a Member's specific commitments under GATS. As of 27 November, no such notifications had been received.

Implementation of substantive commitments on domestic laws and market access. Because many notification requirements are linked to the implementation of substantive commitments to (i) bring domestic laws and regulations into conformity with the new WTO rules, and (ii) implement scheduled reductions in protection and support, including increases in market access, the situation in the area of notifications makes it difficult to be precise about progress this year on substantive commitments.(7) The most that can be done at this stage is a rough qualitative rather than quantitative assessment, which suggests that while progress could have been better in some instances, it was broadly satisfactory in most areas subject to substantive commitments. We have made a reasonable start - especially considering the scope and complexity of the WTO Agreement - but clearly a lot remains to be done next year.

Implementation of other requirements. Implementing the Uruguay Round results involves, in addition to fulfilling notification requirements and substantive commitments meeting a number of other obligations. According to the Secretariat's Note on "Provisions for Review, Future Work or Negotiations in the WTO Agreement and Related Decisions and Declarations" (WT/L/88), the WTO Agreement contains some 74 provisions for reviews, further negotiations and cooperation, and other decisions and declarations related to the implementation of the results of the Uruguay Round. Many of them have specific but varied timetables, while others are ad hoc. Actions have been taken in some 34 cases this year, including a majority of the provisions which called for actions during the first year of the WTO Agreement (whether the degree of progress was sufficient in each case to say that the implementation actions required in 1995 were satisfactorily fulfilled is a separate question).

Along with negotiations on financial services (see below for details), another well-known implementation issue that arose this year concerned the establishment of the Appellate Body, as required by the new dispute settlement procedures. Agreement on the composition of the Appellate Body was reached in the second half of November, and it has been agreed that the members will be formally appointed to the Appellate Body in mid-December (the seven experts will come from Egypt, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, the Philippines, the United States and Uruguay). Mention should also be made of the good prospects for resolving the status of the independent review entity to be established under the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection (see below).

The importance of maintaining the implementation momentum in 1996 - and catching-up where the pace has fallen behind schedule - is taken-up below in Part III.

(2) General activities Back to Top

Accessions

An important task facing the WTO is that of making the new multilateral trading system truly global in scope and application. While the present membership accounts for more than 90 per cent of world trade, a number of nations are still outside. Many of them have requested accession to the WTO. Twenty eight governments - ranging from China, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and Viet Nam to the Baltic States, Bulgaria, Mongolia, Panama and Vanuatu - are at various stages of a process that has become more involved because of the WTO's increased coverage relative to the GATT. With many of the candidates currently undergoing a process of transition from centrally planned to market economies, accession to the WTO offers these countries - in addition to the usual trade benefits - a way of underpinning their domestic reform processes.

Trade Policy Review Mechanism

The Trade Policy Review Mechanism, established provisionally in 1989, has been given a permanent role in the WTO. Fifteen trade policy reviews were undertaken between December 1994 and December 1995, including third reviews of the European Communities and Japan, second reviews of Morocco, Sweden and Thailand and first reviews of Cameroon, Costa Rica, Cte d'Ivoire, Israel, Mauritius, Pakistan, the Slovak Republic, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Each of these reports noted that efforts were under way to bring domestic trade laws into conformity with WTO provisions and to implement related commitments.

The 1995 programme extended the coverage to services, intellectual property and other policies covered by the Uruguay Round agreements. Reviews of developed countries have highlighted the generally open nature of their trade policy regimes for industrial products, coupled with a tendency to protect "sensitive" sectors, such as agriculture, textiles and clothing, and to use contingency protection, both of which impose high costs on the rest of the economy. Reviews of developing and transition economies have underlined the progress of autonomous trade liberalization and the rapid pace of change to enhance economic efficiency through deregulation, privatization, and more open investment regimes.

The 1996 programme will include the fourth reviews (and the first under WTO provisions) of Canada and the United States, second reviews of Brazil, Colombia, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand and first reviews of Benin, Cyprus, Fiji, Paraguay, El Salvador, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Consultations have been held by the Chairman on possible procedural improvements to the Mechanism, and the Secretariat is examining ways of streamlining reports and procedures.

Dispute Settlement under the WTO Agreement

Since 1 January 1995, new disputes follow the procedures of the Dispute Settlement Understanding annexed to the WTO Agreement. As is well known, these procedures mark a substantial change from the past. They are a unified set of rules which apply generally to all WTO disputes, the adoption of panel reports cannot be blocked by parties to the dispute, and they provide for the appeal of a panel decision to a new seven-person Appellate Body. The new procedures are overseen by the General Council, sitting as the Dispute Settlement Body.

As of 27 November, the Dispute Settlement Body had been notified of 21 requests for consultations (see Appendix Table 2), the step which marks the beginning of a WTO dispute.(8) As these requests by different Members sometimes concerned the same measure, the number of distinct measures subject to disputes was 14. Of these 14, four have been withdrawn, and panels have been established in four. The first panel report under the WTO is due to be circulated at the end of January 1996.

All cases brought so far have involved goods and GATT 1994. Most of the 21 requests have additionally invoked other goods agreements: Technical Barriers to Trade (seven), Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (five), Customs Valuation (three), Agriculture (two), and Licensing (two). In one case the General Agreement on Trade in Services has been invoked.

It is too early to draw definite conclusions on the functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system. The total requests for consultations and panels established are roughly on the same level as during 1994 under the GATT. However the number of disputes (involving different measures) is somewhat less than before in terms of requests for consultation (14 versus 18) and panels established (four versus nine). The parties involved in the disputes are largely unchanged: as before, the United States, the European Communities, Japan and Canada have been the most active participants. Developing countries, however, have been more active as complainants than in the past: Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, Thailand, and Venezuela have been or are all parties to WTO disputes.

Dispute Settlement under the GATT 1947 and the Tokyo Agreements

During the review period, dispute actions have been initiated or pursued under certain WTO predecessor agreements still in force. Under the GATT 1947, four panel reports(9) were submitted to the Council for adoption, and there was one new request for consultations.(10) Under the Anti-Dumping Agreement, one new panel report was circulated and adopted,(11) and one new panel report was circulated.(12) Under the Subsidies Agreement, one panel case was suspended,(13) one new panel report circulated,(14) and one panel report adopted.(15)

Balance-of-Payment Restrictions

By the end of 1995, eleven Members will have held consultations, under Articles XII or XVIII:B of the GATT, with the WTO and/or GATT 1947 Committees. In June 1995, the Committees requested Slovakia to eliminate the 1994 import surcharge by the end of 1995, if possible, but in any case before 30 June 1996. Poland was requested to eliminate an import surcharge established in 1992 by the time of the next consultation, due in June 1996. The Committee recommended to Sri Lanka not to have recourse to the provisions of Article XVIII:B. Consultations were also held with Bangladesh and the Philippines, and consultations with India will be held before the end of 1995. Egypt, Israel and South Africa disinvoked the BOP provisions, in July, September and November 1995 respectively.

Hungary made a notification prior to the imposition of an import surcharge on 20 March 1995 and consulted with the Committees in June. The Committees requested Hungary to present a concrete timetable for the reduction and elimination of the surcharge. In July, Brazil invoked Article XVIII:B in respect of a quota on imports of motor vehicles for the second half of 1995. Following the Committees' request at consultations held in October 1995, the import quota was withdrawn.

Trade and Development

Among other activities, the Committee on Trade and Development created a Sub-Committee on Least Developed Countries, and the GATT 1947 Working Party on MERCOSUR (the Southern Common Market Agreement between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) was formally transferred to the WTO with the appropriate modification of the terms of reference.

At the Committee's request, a workshop to assist Members in meeting their notification obligations was organized by the Secretariat in May. Other issues on the Committee's agenda include, inter alia, discussion of the impact of the results of the Uruguay Round on developing country Members and the question of credit and recognition for autonomous trade liberalization measures. At its last meeting of the year, the Committee reviewed the participation of developing country Members in the multilateral trading system, recent developments in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), and regional trade agreements between developing countries.

Trade and Environment

During the first part of 1995, the new WTO Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) reviewed the nine items on its work programme. With respect to three items, the CTE was able to take advantage of and build on the work done by the GATT Group on Environmental Measures and International Trade during 1991-1993: these were the relationship between WTO provisions and trade measures taken pursuant to multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), eco-labelling and packaging requirements, and the transparency of trade-related environmental measures and environment-related trade measures. Regarding exports of domestically prohibited goods, work in the CTE has also been able to benefit from earlier discussions in GATT. With respect to the other five items in its work programme, discussions in the CTE have often involved examining trade issues from new perspectives.

Where the CTE is charged with addressing the relationship between WTO provisions and trade-related environmental measures or trade measures applied for environmental purposes, discussions have considered a number of policies, related those policies to relevant WTO provisions, and examined how those provisions apply - including whether they provide adequate rules and disciplines to ensure that unnecessary trade restrictions and distortions are avoided. Some delegations have also emphasized the need for the Committee to consider to what extent WTO provisions adequately accommodate trade and trade-related measures serving environmental purposes, and in this respect one proposal has been made to amend and/or interpret GATT Article XX to clarify its relationship to trade measures taken pursuant to multilateral environmental agreements.

The goal of sustainable development is stated several times in the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Trade and Environment. Discussions in the CTE on the effect of environmental measures on market access, especially in relation to developing countries (particularly the least-developed) and the environmental benefits of removing trade restrictions and other distortions have indicated a widespread belief that the complementarities between good environmental policy-making and good trade policy-making have a particular potential to promote and accelerate sustainable development. Further liberalization of trade in goods and in services would allow the same level of output to be produced at less resource cost, generate income that can be used to help pay for environmental protection and conservation, and remove restrictive trade policies that impact adversely on the environment. More broadly, it is evident from the CTE discussions that Members believe there is no inherent contradiction between upholding and safeguarding an open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system on the one hand, and protecting the environment and promoting sustainable development on the other.

Technical Cooperation and Training

The expanded scope of the WTO has increased substantially the demand for technical assistance. Over sixty national or regional seminars, workshops and technical missions were arranged during 1995. In addition, a total of ninety-nine officials from developing countries and from economies in transition participated in the Trade Policy Courses, covering aspects of trade policy, international trade law and the multilateral trading system. A Workshop on Notification Requirements of the GATT/WTO legal system was held in Geneva, as well as the sixth Special Training Course on Dispute Settlement Procedures and Practices.

A number of technical cooperation missions assisted officials in the capitals of least-developed countries and smaller developing countries in the preparation of Schedules of concessions on goods and commitments on services. Also, studies were prepared on individual products of interest to developing and least-developed countries, as well as comprehensive studies on the outcome of the Uruguay Round, and background notes on specific issues in different areas of the negotiations. Information was provided towards the assessment of other countries' offers in market access in goods of relevance to developing countries' export interests. Data on trade flows, tariffs and non-tariff measures needed for consultations and negotiations have often been made available. Technical assistance was also provided to several developing countries in the preparation of their Trade Policy Reviews.

Two financial grants, to help the Secretariat meet the increased demand for technical assistance, have been received this year. The European Communities has provided 1.1 million ECUs for eight regional seminars to inform trade policy makers and businessmen in the ACP countries of the results and opportunities of the Uruguay Round. Six of the eight seminars will be held in Africa where a major effort is being made by the WTO to ensure that all countries on the continent draw the maximum economic benefits from actual or prospective WTO membership. The remaining two seminars will be held for Caribbean and for Pacific ACP countries. The other grant is a $2.5 million contribution from the Government of Norway to a technical assistance fund. The purpose of the fund is to assist the least-developed countries to participate actively in the WTO and to take advantage of the trade regime and the new market openings offered by the new WTO agreements. The WTO will collaborate with other institutions, in particular the International Trade Centre and UNCTAD, in utilizing the assistance fund.

Cooperation with other international organizations

There are two aspects to cooperation between the WTO and other international organizations - the nature of the formal institutional relationships, and the informal cooperative efforts in such areas as technical assistance and economic research.

As regards the first aspect, an arrangement has been concluded with the United Nations, on the basis of Article V of the WTO and in line with the mandate given by Members, that is consistent with the respective status and mandate of the two organizations (in particular, the contractual nature of the WTO). Under the arrangement, cooperation between the Secretariats will be improved, including new and expanded cooperation between the WTO and UNCTAD (more on the latter below).

In addition to Article V of the WTO, relations with the IMF and/or the World Bank are also governed by Articles XV of GATT 1994 and XII of the GATS which detail the IMF's role in balance of payments matters, and by WTO Article III.5 and the Uruguay Round Ministerial Declaration on the Contribution of the World Trade Organization to Achieving Greater Coherence in Global Economic Policymaking, which call on the WTO to cooperate with the IMF and the World Bank. Cooperation agreements with the IMF and the World Bank are currently being developed among the three Secretariats, on the basis of mandates received from their respective Memberships. The agreements will be signed by the respective Heads after they are completed and approved by the appropriate bodies of the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank.

As regards the second aspect, plans for increased cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions are progressing on several fronts. The Ministerial Declaration on greater coherence invited the "Director-General of the WTO to review with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund and the President of the World Bank, the implications of the WTO's responsibilities for its cooperation with the Bretton Woods institutions, as well as the forms such cooperation might take, with a view to achieving greater coherence in global economic policymaking." The motivation behind this request is the ongoing globalization of the world economy, which is encompassing different segments of international economic relations and leading to ever-growing interactions between the economic policies pursued by individual countries at the national level. As a result, coherence between national policies, and between the activities of the major international economic institutions, is becoming increasingly important in order to sustain the momentum of world economic growth and to increase the effectiveness of policies at the national level.

While discussions between the three institutions are still at an early stage, the program of work is expected to accelerate sharply in 1996. The goal is to prepare a substantive report that describes the consensus among the three institutions on (i) the relevant issues to be covered under the rubric of "greater coherence", (ii) the nature of the particular cooperative efforts (mechanisms and instruments) to deal with those issues, and (iii) a timetable for implementing those efforts.

Another important area of cooperation currently underway or in preparation is the Secretariat's program of activities for Africa, a results-oriented initiative to help African countries expand and diversify their trade, to be pursued in a strongly cooperative fashion with other intergovernmental organizations, in particular with UNCTAD and ITC. As part of this effort, I will be visiting a number of African countries in January and will be back in the continent in April for UNCTAD IX.

Future cooperation between the WTO and UNCTAD will not be limited to the WTO program of activities for Africa. To enhance cooperation between the two organizations and develop further the already strong complementarity, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD and I have agreed (i) to hold meetings, chaired jointly by us, every six months beginning in mid-January 1996; (ii) to improve the working relationship between the two organizations at all levels, in such areas as research, trade and investment, trade and competition, trade and the environment, and trade and development; and (iii) to work for a greater complementarity in technical cooperation - not only between the WTO, UNCTAD and the ITC, but also with other agencies, whether in the UN System, the Bretton Woods organizations, or regional bodies - in order to improve coordination across the board and make better use of resources. In announcing these steps, we also stressed our complete agreement on the high priority that must be given to Africa in the cooperative work of the two institutions.

The WTO's Africa initiative, as well as the ongoing efforts at strengthening inter-institutional cooperation, are part of a broader effort that responds to Ministerial Decisions taken at Marrakesh.(16) Among other things, the Ministers agreed (i) that, to the extent possible MFN concessions on tariff and non-tariff measures agreed in the Uruguay Round on products of export interest to the least developed countries may be implemented autonomously, in advance and without stageing; (ii) that least developed countries shall be accorded substantially increased technical assistance in the development, strengthening and diversification of their product and export bases, (iii) to keep under review the specific needs of the least developed countries and to continue to seek the adoption of positive measures which facilitate the expansion of trading opportunities in favour of these countries; (iv) to establish mechanisms to ensure that agricultural policy reforms agreed to in the Uruguay Round do not adversely affect the availability of food aid, and (v) that as a result of the Uruguay Round certain developing countries may experience short-term difficulties in financing normal levels of commercial imports, and that these countries may be eligible to draw on the resources of international financial institutions in order to address such financing difficulties.

Other parts of that broader effort include the previously mentioned creation of the CTD's Sub-Committee on Least Developed Countries, work in the Agriculture Committee related to the net food importers (see below), and extensive - and expanding - technical assistance to these countries, including utilization of the generous special financial assistance that has been announced by the European Communities and the Government of Norway. Mention should also be made of the General Council's approval of the schedules on goods and services of 20 least developed countries that had been given (under a decision adopted at Marrakesh) additional time to submit their schedules.

The General Council

In carrying out its function of overseeing the operation of the multilateral trading system between Ministerial Conferences, the General Council focused its work during the first year of the WTO's existence, on procedural, organizational and institutional matters. It adopted its rules of procedure and those for the Ministerial Conference, and approved the rules of procedure of its subsidiary bodies. It approved the Headquarters Agreement and decided that the International Trade Centre should be operated jointly by the WTO and UNCTAD, the latter acting on behalf of the United Nations. The Council also agreed on procedures for an annual overview of WTO activities and for reporting under the WTO, in order to ensure the efficient operation of the system and to ensure that the WTO Agreement functions as a single undertaking.

(3) Activities related to goods  Back to Top

Market access

The Committee on Market Access examined the question of implementation of tariff concessions contained in the Uruguay Round schedules and agreed to follow the same approach used after the Tokyo Round, which is to rely on cross or reverse notification of any problem with the implementation of concessions. To date no such notifications have been received.

The Committee also took two Decisions (to be formally approved by the Council for Trade in Goods) concerning Notification Procedures for Quantitative Restrictions and Reverse Notification of Non-Tariff Measures, respectively. According to the Decision on quantitative restrictions, Members shall make complete notifications of quantitative restrictions by 31 January 1996, and at two-year intervals thereafter, and shall notify changes in their quantitative restrictions as and when these changes occur. According to the Decision on reverse notification of non-tariff measures, Members shall have the possibility of making notifications of non-tariff measures maintained by other Members in so far as such measures are neither subject to any existing WTO notification obligations nor to any other reverse notification possibilities.

Textiles and Clothing

The entry into force of the Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC) set in motion the ten- year transition from the MFA's complex network of bilateral and discriminatory quotas to a multilateral set of rules and disciplines for textiles and clothing trade. This process is being overseen by the Textiles Monitoring Body. The initial integration into GATT 1994 of products covered by ATC began on the date of its entry into force. Each Member was required to integrate products from the list in the Annex of the ATC that met two requirements: they accounted for at least 16 per cent of 1990 imports of listed products, and they include products from four groups: tops and yarns, fabrics, made-up textile products and clothing.

WTO Members (other than Canada, the EC, Norway and the United States) were required to notify whether or not they wished to retain the right to use the transitional safeguard mechanism in Article 6 of the ATC. If the choice was affirmative, they were obligated to provide their lists of products to be integrated into GATT 1994 on 1 January 1995.(17) In total, 55 notifications have been received consisting of 37 former MFA participants and 18 non-MFA participants. Within this group, 49 Members retained the right to use the transitional safeguard mechanism, while six did not, and are thus deemed to have fully integrated all products covered by the ATC into GATT 1994. Thus far, lists of the products which are integrated as of the first stage have been provided by 32 of the 37 former MFA participants and by four non-MFA participants.

The four WTO Members which on 31 December 1994 maintained quantitative restrictions within bilateral MFA agreements (Canada, the European Communities, Norway and the United States) were required to notify all such measures in place on that date. These restrictions have become the starting point for the liberalization process under the ATC whereby the annual growth rates in the previous bilaterally agreed restrictions have to be increased by a factor of no less than 16 per cent for the first three years. (Higher factors will apply at the second and third stages.) Apart from this, one Member of he MFA (Norway) has notified that a number of restrictions are being abolished as of 1 January 1996.

Notifications regarding other non-MFA quantitative restrictions on textile and clothing, whether consistent with GATT 1994 or not, have been made by 27 Members. If such restrictions are not justified under a GATT 1994 provision, they must be either brought into conformity within one year or phased-out progressively over a period not exceeding ten years.

A major part of the TMB's activities has been to review matters brought to it concerning measures taken under the transitional safeguard mechanism (Article 6). Altogether 24 requests for consultations have been made by the United States under this Article in respect of imports of certain products from one or more WTO Members. Following consultations, agreements were reached bilaterally in a number of these cases; the proposed measure was withdrawn in others, and ten unresolved cases have been submitted to the TMB for review.

Agriculture

The focus of meetings of the Committee on Agriculture earlier in the year was the establishment of efficient and effective working procedures, including notification requirements. In general, it is evident that most Members are implementing their commitments faithfully. Some of the Members that are still facing difficulties in the implementation of their agricultural commitments have been able to give details as to when the necessary changes in domestic legislation are likely to occur. In cases where implementation is delayed, other Members have expressed concern that they could lose the benefits of concessions for 1995 and have encouraged implementing Members to take this into consideration.

The first area where notifications to the Committee were required relates to the implementation of tariff and other quota commitments. Most Members with such commitments have now notified the method of administration to be used and this has formed the basis for discussions within the Committee. A number of generic issues have emerged from the discussions, including the interrelationship between preferential trading arrangements and MFN tariff quotas and the auctioning of import licences as a means to allocate tariff quota quantities. These issues will continue to be discussed in the Committee during 1996.

In the future, the Committee will consider domestic support and export subsidies - indeed some issues in these areas have already been raised and discussed in 1995. The Committee will also act on other issues that are specified in the Agreement or have been raised by participants, such as the development of internationally agreed disciplines to govern the provision of export credits.

In addition to its work concerning the agricultural commitments undertaken by Members, the Committee is charged with monitoring the follow-up to the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries. In this light, it has established the means by which net food importing developing country Members will be identified and has established an initial work programme for 1996 which includes preparing for the review of the level of food aid (as set out in the Decision) and working towards the establishment of guidelines designed to help ensure that increasing proportion of food aid is provided in fully grant form.

Safeguards

The Agreement on Safeguards entered into force on 1 January 1995 and the Committee established under the Agreement has begun reviewing national legislation. Fifty Members have notified the Committee of their domestic safeguard legislations or made communications in this respect. Forty-one Members have not, as yet, made notifications as required by Article 12.6 of the Agreement.

Article 12.7 of the Agreement requires Members maintaining "grey area" measures to notify such measures to the Committee. Notifications in this regard were received from Cyprus, the European Communities, the Republic of Korea, Slovenia, South Africa, and Thailand. The Article also requires notification of any pre-existing measures imposed under Article XIX of GATT 1947. Notifications of such measures were received from the European Communities and the Republic of Korea. Members are also required to notify to the Committee immediately upon the initiation of an investigation regarding serious injury or threat thereof and the reason for it. Notifications in this regard were received from the United States and the Republic of Korea.

Subsidies and Countervailing Measures

The Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures entered into force on 1 January 1995, and all Members of the WTO are ipso facto members of the Committee established under the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and Article XVI:1. The corresponding Tokyo Round Agreement will be terminated by the end of this year except for disputes regarding investigations and reviews not covered by the WTO Agreement for which transitional provisions have been established until the end of 1996.(18)

The Committee has begun reviewing the countervailing duty legislations that so far have been notified to the Committee. As of 27 November, 54 Members (counting the EC as one) had notified or made communication regarding their legislation. The review of subsidies notified pursuant to Article 25 of the Agreement was deferred until 1996 as only 21 Members had notified their subsidies to the Committee as of 27 November.

Countervailing actions taken during the period 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995 are summarized in Appendix Tables 3 and 4. The tables are incomplete because 35 notifications were missing for the period 1 July to 31 December 1994, and 52 notifications were missing for the period 1 January to 30 June 1995. The most active Members during the year ending 30 June, in terms of initiations of countervailing duty actions, were the United States (5), Peru (4) and Argentina and Canada with two cases each. The number of measures in force on 30 June 1995 by reporting Members is 128, of which 80 per cent are maintained by the United States. From the perspective of exporters, enterprises from the European Communities have been the subject of almost half of the recent cases, or eight out of the 17 reported initiations during the period.

Anti-Dumping Practices

The Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade entered into force on 1 January 1995. All Members of the WTO are ipso facto members of the Committee on Anti-Dumping Practices established under the Agreement. The corresponding Tokyo Round Agreement will be terminated by the end of this year except for disputes regarding investigations and reviews not covered by the WTO Agreement for which transitional provisions have been established until the end of 1996.(19)

The WTO Committee on Anti-Dumping Practices has begun its review of those members - 56 by 27 November - that have submitted notifications of anti-dumping legislation and regulations. Other discussion items have included the issue of anti-circumvention (referred to the Committee by the Ministerial Decision on Anti-Circumvention), the enlargement of the European Communities and the automatic application of anti-dumping duties to the new Members of the EC, and the initiation by the European Communities of anti-circumvention investigations involving imports of microdisks from several Members.

Anti-dumping actions taken during the period 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995 are summarized in Appendix Tables 5 and 6. The tables are incomplete because 34 notifications were missing for the period 1 July to 31 December 1994, and 53 notifications were missing for the period 1 January to 30 June 1995. The most active Members during the year ending 30 June, in terms of initiations of dumping investigations, were the European Communities (37), the United States (30), Mexico (18) and Brazil (12). The number of measures in force on 30 June 1995 by reporting Members is 805, of which 60 per cent are maintained by the United States and the European Communities. From the perspective of exporters, enterprises in China have been the subject of 27 anti-dumping initiations, followed by enterprises in the European Communities with 17, and the Republic of Korea with 10.

State Trading Enterprises

The Working Party on State Trading Enterprises was established in accordance with paragraph 5 of the Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XVII of the GATT 1994. Work has begun on the agenda for the Working Party, which includes reviewing the notifications and counter-notifications submitted by Members, reviewing the adequacy of the 1960 questionnaire and the coverage of state trading enterprises notified under paragraph 1 of the Understanding, and developing an illustrative list of relationships between governments and state trading enterprises and of activities engaged in by these enterprises.

Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures

The transparency provisions of the SPS Agreement came into force for all WTO Members on 1 January 1995.(20) Meetings of the SPS Committee during 1995 included one special joint meeting with the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) to consider the implementation of the transparency provisions of both agreements.

The format and recommendations for the required notification of proposed new regulations or changes in regulations which the Committee agreed to are largely the same or similar to those to be used for the notification of technical regulations under the TBT Agreement. In order to facilitate Members meeting their obligations under the Agreement, the Committee identified existing international standards developed by the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission (Codex), the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), and the FAO International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC). It also identified relevant risk assessment methodologies being developed by these organizations which Members could take into account in their own risk assessment practices. Several Members provided information regarding their national use of risk assessment, as well as descriptions of their national regulatory processes. More generally, the Committee has begun to address the issue of assisting Members in achieving consistency in their risk management decisions.

Technical Barriers to Trade

The Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) reached an agreement in July on the information Members are required to submit on measures taken to ensure the implementation and administration of the Agreement, and a number of draft statements have been received. Notifications by individual Members of technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that may have a significant effect on the trade of other Members, have proceeded smoothly. In addition, as of 27 November, 23 standardizing bodies have accepted the Code of Good Practice for the Preparation, Adoption and Application of Standards.(21)

The Committee also adopted decisions and recommendations on: notification procedures, procedures for information exchange, technical assistance, and regional standard-related activities. It will carry out its first annual review of the implementation and operation of the Agreement under Article 15.3 in the first half of 1996. The Committee has begun discussing the relationship of the provisions of the TBT Agreement to eco-labelling schemes, and agreed that discussions will continue in joint informal meetings with the Committee on Trade and Environment. As noted above, there was also a special joint meeting with the SPS Committee.

Rules of Origin

In response to the request from the Committee on Rules of Origin, the WTO Technical Committee on Rules of Origin submitted a report on the results of the first phase of the Rules of Origin Harmonization Work Programme. At a meeting in mid-November, the Committee considered the interpretation and opinions of the Technical Committee as reflected in its report. WTO Members are required to notify existing rules of origin, both preferential and non-preferential. Approximately one-third of the Members had fulfilled this obligation by 27 November.

Customs Valuation

The Committee on Customs Valuation agreed on procedures for the notification of national legislation, and started the process of examination of the various communications and notifications regarding implementing legislation that had been submitted. Provisions for special and differential treatment have been invoked by a number of developing countries. During the period, Canada (cereals), the United States (cereals and rice), and Thailand (rice) requested separate consultations with the European Communities under Article 19 of the Agreement regarding certain regulations of the European Communities. A panel has been established to hear the Canadian complaint.

Preshipment Inspection (PSI)

Although the Agreement on Preshipment Inspection entered into force on 1 January 1995, it has not been operational because there was no agreement on the status of the independent review entity to be established under Article 4 of the Agreement. There now appears to be a solution in prospect, which would locate this entity in the WTO Secretariat. Article 5 of the PSI Agreement provides that Members shall submit to the Secretariat, copies of the laws and regulations by which they put this Agreement into force, as well as copies of any other laws and regulations relating to preshipment inspection. To date, only 11 Members have made notifications.

Trade-Related Investment Measures

Most of the work of the Committee on Trade-Related Investment Measures during the period pertained to the implementation of notification requirements, particularly those of Article 5.1 of the TRIMs Agreement. This provision requires that WTO Members shall notify the Council for Trade in Goods, within 90 days of the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement, of all TRIMs they are applying that are not in conformity with the provisions of the Agreement (each Member is to eliminate all TRIMs notified under Article 5.1 within a period of two years for a developed country Member, five years in the case of a developing country Member and seven years in the case of a least-developed country Member, with a possibility of extending the time limit). The Committee has received 26 notifications under Article 5.1, a substantial number of which describe measures in the automotive sector. Judging from TPRM reports, it is possible that not all countries having TRIMs in place have notified their measures. In the absence of comprehensive empirical information on the application of TRIMs by different countries, it is therefore difficult to evaluate the degree of compliance with Article 5.1 represented by the 26 notifications. Discussions in the Committee have noted that some notifications did not provide the detailed information required by the agreed standard format, as well as the fact that some notifications were made after the expiry of the relevant time limits.

Regional trading arrangements in the area of goods

During 1995, work in the area of regional agreements had three basic features: arranging for the transfer of GATT 1947 competence vis-à-vis the examination of regional agreements to the WTO; conduct of the examination of regional agreements notified to the GATT 1947; and dealing with regional agreements notified to the WTO.

At its meeting in July, the General Council modified the terms of reference of the eleven working parties established under Article XXIV of the GATT 1947 which had not yet met so that the agreements will be examined in light of the relevant provisions of the GATT 1994 and the reports of the working parties submitted to the Council for Trade in Goods. Similarly, at its meeting in September the Committee on Trade and Development agreed to modify the terms of reference of the MERCOSUR Working Party in line with this common approach but with some adjustment - that is, the examination would be done in light of the relevant provisions of the Enabling Clause and of the GATT 1994, with the report being transmitted to the Committee on Trade and Development and a copy also transmitted to the CTG.

An important development was the agreement at the November meeting of the General Council for its Chairman to carry out consultations on the possible establishment in the WTO of a Committee on Regional Trading Arrangements. This was the result of a formal request made by the Government of Canada, which indicated that such a committee would offer the possibility of better organizing work in this area, as well as provide a forum for the examination of the relationship of regional trading arrangements to the multilateral trading system. Open-ended consultations have therefore started on the possibility of establishing such a Committee, as well as on its possible terms of reference.

Two Working Parties - on NAFTA and MERCOSUR - held their first meetings in 1995. No other working parties met during 1995. Issues which attracted particular interest in the NAFTA Working Party were the provisions relating to rules of origin and to quotas for agricultural products, and Mexico's customs valuation practices. Discussions in the MERCOSUR Working Party centred on issues relating to tariff and non-tariff liberalization within the customs union, and the mechanics and implications for third parties of the establishment of a common external tariff and other common rules of commerce in the four member countries.

In 1995, 12 regional trade agreements were notified in the area of goods, of which two involved developing countries.

Europe. A Working Party was established to examine the European Communities enlargement to include Austria, Finland and Sweden as from 1 January 1995; in parallel to this multilateral process, the EC is conducting - in line with Article XXIV:6 requirements - bilateral negotiations with a number of WTO Members regarding the breaking of bindings resulting from the Enlargement. Interim Agreements between the EC and Bulgaria and the EC and Romania, part of the larger so-called "Europe Agreements", were notified and working parties established (the aim is to establish free trade areas between the EC and Bulgaria and the EC and Romania over a maximum period of ten years). Free Trade Agreements between the EC and Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, respectively, were notified and working parties established. While the Agreement between the EC and Estonia establishes a free trade area between the parties as from 1 January 1995, the other two provide for a free trade area to be established gradually, over a maximum period of four years in the case of Latvia and six years in the case of Lithuania.

The Free Trade Agreement between Hungary and Slovenia, providing for the gradual establishment of a free trade area with the transitional period ending on 31 December 2000 at the latest, was notified and a working party established. The Free Trade Agreement between the EFTA States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) and Slovenia, applied on a provisional basis as from 1 July 1995, (pending the ratification by the Parties) was notified; its objective is to abolish tariffs and other restrictions for industrial products, fish and other marine products and processed agricultural products. The Trade Agreement between the EC, on the one part, and the Government of Denmark and the Home Government of the Faroe Islands, on the other part, containing provisions relating to free trade in goods between the EC and the Faroe Islands, was notified.

Free Trade Agreements between the Czech Republic and Romania and between the Slovak Republic and Romania were notified. The Agreements, applied provisionally as from 1 January 1995, cover products falling within Chapters 1 to 97 of the Harmonized System and provide for the gradual establishment of free trade areas between the Parties, with the transitional period ending not later than 1 January 1998.

Latin America. A memorandum of Understanding was notified, providing, inter alia, for Bolivia and MERCOSUR to conclude by 1996, negotiations on an agreement to establish a Free Trade Area within a maximum of 10 years.

Africa. A Treaty Establishing the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), with the following signatories was notified to the Committee on Trade and Development (CTD): Angola, Burundi, Comoros, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The COMESA Treaty, which supersedes the Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern African States (PTA), provides for the establishment of a customs union, including a common external tariff, within a transitional period of ten years and for the free movement of persons and the right of establishment of business by nationals of COMESA in any member state. Its 36 chapters include cooperation in all economic and social sectors of the economies of the member states.

Asia. The notification of the members of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to the CTD contains information on numerous aspects of the Agreement, including the Common Effective Preferential Tariffs (CEPT) scheme for the AFTA, the CEPT product profile and institutional arrangements.

(4) Activities related to services Back to Top

Financial Services

Counting the members of the European Communities as one participant, 68 participants had made commitments in the financial services sector by the end of the Uruguay Round. Of this group, 29 offered improved access in the extended financial services negotiations which were concluded at the end of July. Among these 29 Members, 20 made improved commitments in insurance, 24 in banking, 17 in securities, and 25 in other financial services. Eight countries deleted the exemptions to the MFN obligation under the GATS, while others reduced the scope of such exemptions. It was also agreed that for a period of 60 days starting on 1 November 1997, Members will again have an opportunity to modify or improve their offers on financial services schedules and to take MFN exemptions in the sector.

The Protocol to which the new financial services schedules are annexed is open for acceptance until 30 June 1996 in order to allow Members time to fulfil domestic ratification procedures. The Protocol, and therefore the commitments, will enter into force 30 days after acceptance by all Members concerned. The 29 Members whose improved schedules of commitments and lists of Article II (MFN) exemptions (where relevant) in financial services are annexed to the Second Protocol to the GATS are the following: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Egypt, the European Communities, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, Slovak Republic, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela. Three other Members, Colombia, Mauritius and the United States, added to or expanded the scope of their MFN exemptions in financial services, and have not annexed their schedules and lists of MFN exemptions to the Second Protocol. All other Members with specific commitments in financial services have maintained their existing schedules.

Basic Telecommunications

At the end of the Uruguay Round it was decided to extend negotiations on trade in basic telecommunications with a view to improving the GATS schedules of commitments. The negotiations began in May 1994 and are scheduled to conclude in April 1996. Currently, there are 29 full participants (counting the 15 members of the European Communities as one) representing most major telecommunications markets, and another 29 governments are attending as observers.

Participants agreed to set aside national differences on how basic telecommunications may be defined domestically and to negotiate on all public telecommunications services that involve transmission (without adding value). They have also agreed that basic telecommunications services provided on an infrastructure-basis and those provided through resale shall both fall within the scope of negotiations. As a result, market access commitments that will be negotiated on commercial presence (one of the four "modes of supply" covered by the GATS) may relate to the ability of foreign firms to own and operate telecommunications networks and infrastructure.

At the end of July, participants began circulating written drafts of their telecom offers within the negotiating group, with 14 draft offers presented thus far.(22) Participants are also discussing the possible need for commitments or common understandings in the area of conditions of competition - for example, in relation to the terms for interconnections with existing networks.

Maritime Services

Negotiations on maritime transport services continued beyond the conclusion of the Uruguay Round pursuant to the Ministerial Decision on Negotiations on Maritime Transport Services, and under the terms of the Annex on Negotiations on Maritime transport Services. They are scheduled to be concluded by 30 June 1996. There are currently 42 participants (counting the 15 members of the European Communities as one), and 15 observer governments. The Negotiating Group has focused during the initial phase on technical and regulatory issues relating to international shipping, auxiliary services and access to and use of port facilities. A Questionnaire on Maritime Transport Services, containing 36 questions on technical and regulatory matters concerning the maritime sector, has been prepared by the Secretariat and circulated to participants. Thirty-three participants and one observer have responded thus far to the questionnaire. These responses have been subject to discussion in the negotiating group. Also, a draft Schedule on Maritime Transport Services has been prepared by the Secretariat and discussed in the Group.

The negotiating group moved from the technical stage of its work into the negotiating phase in the second half of 1995. Six governments have so far made conditional offers, primarily reinstating the best offers which they had previously submitted during the Uruguay Round, but which were withdrawn at the end of 1993 when it was decided that the negotiations should continue with a view to achieving better results.(23) Many other participants have offered to maintain the commitments they made at that time.

Movement of Natural Persons

The Negotiating Group on the Movement of Natural Persons completed its work on 28 July 1995, producing six sets of commitments which are annexed to the Third Protocol to the GATS. The Protocol will enter into force at the end of January 1996 for those Members which have accepted it by that date and shall be open for acceptance by other Members until 30 June 1996.

Australia, Canada, the European Communities, India, Norway and Switzerland have made higher levels of commitments on movement of natural persons. The commitments will guarantee new opportunities in these markets for individual service suppliers - qualified professionals, computer specialists, experts of various kinds - to work abroad in an individual capacity on temporary assignments without the requirement that they be linked with a commercial presence in the host country.

Professional Services

A Working Party on Professional Services was established this year, with the task of making recommendations on multilateral disciplines that may be needed to ensure that measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements in the area of professional services do not constitute unnecessary trade barriers. Priority attention is being given to the accountancy sector. The Working Party has focused on the collection and clarification of information that may be needed regarding the domestic regulatory requirements mentioned above. It has been agreed to evaluate relevant work going on outside the WTO before deciding on the need for undertaking a survey or other analytical work in the Working Party. An evaluation of efforts underway in three fora - OECD, UNCTAD and the IFAC (International Federation of Accountants) - is in progress, the intention being to report back to the Working Party at its meeting in January 1996.

GATS rules

A Working Party on GATS Rules has been established to carry out the requirements in Articles X, XIII and XV on safeguards, government procurement of services, and subsidies, respectively. The Working Party has held two meetings on the subject of safeguards. It will take up government procurement in December 1995 and subsidies in March 1996.

Committee on Specific Commitments

This Committee was established in November 1995 to oversee the implementation of specific commitments on services.

(5) Activities related to intellectual property  Back to Top

Given the transition periods under the TRIPS Agreement, much of the work of the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) this year was concerned with setting up procedural mechanisms for future work. The Council agreed on procedures both for the notification of laws and regulations pertaining to the subject matter of the Agreement, and for the review of such notifications by the Council. Agreement was reached on how to handle provisions requiring notification as a condition of invoking exceptions allowed to certain basic rules, Articles 1.3 (beneficiaries of protection) and 3.1 (national treatment), as well as notifications required under Article 69, which concern international cooperation with a view to eliminating international trade in infringing goods and the identification of contact points in national administrations for this purpose. By 27 November, the Council had received 21 notifications under Articles 1.3 and 3.1. The Council has decided that notifications under Article 69 should be made by 1 January 1996.

The Council has kept under review the implementation of Article 70.8 (relating to patent applications for pharmaceutical and agricultural chemical products). There have also been discussions on how the Council should carry out its monitoring of the standstill obligation, and in particular what information might be sought from Members to facilitate such monitoring.

Given the extensive changes to the legislation, institutions and practices of many Members, especially developing ones, required by the TRIPS Agreement, technical cooperation is of great importance. The Council has received information on the technical cooperation activities of 12 developed country Members, seven intergovernmental organizations and the WTO Secretariat, and has initiated further work on the implementation of the relevant obligations in the TRIPS Agreement.

The Council for TRIPS is required to seek to establish within one year of its first meeting, in consultation with WIPO, appropriate arrangements for cooperation with the bodies of that Organization. The TRIPS Council has made proposals to WIPO on cooperation in three areas: notifications of TRIPS implementing legislation, notifications under Article 6 ter of the Paris Convention as applicable under the TRIPS Agreement, and technical cooperation. Suggestions for cooperation between WIPO and the WTO were also considered by the Governing Bodies of WIPO (25 September to 4 October 1995). Consultations between the two Organizations led to the tabling of a draft agreement at the Council's November meeting.

(6) The plurilateral agreements Back to Top

For most part, all WTO members subscribe to all WTO agreements (the Single Undertaking). There remain, however, four agreements, originally negotiated in the in the Tokyo Round, which have a narrower group of signatories and are known therefore as "plurilateral agreements".

The Agreement on Government Procurement

The Interim Committee on Government Procurement was established to prepare the entry into force of the new Agreement on Government Procurement on 1 January 1996. The following are members of the Committee: Canada, the fifteen member states of the European Communities and the European Commission, Israel, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. Observers and those who have requested observer status are: Chinese Taipei, the Kingdom of the Netherlands with respect to Aruba, Liechtenstein, Colombia, Argentina, Turkey, Panama, Singapore, Romania and Iceland. The work of the Interim Committee in 1995 focused on modifications to the Appendices containing market opening concessions, both of a technical nature and to reflect the results of negotiations aimed at further liberalization; accession negotiations with Chinese Taipei, Liechtenstein, the Kingdom of the Netherlands with respect to Aruba, and Singapore; recommendations for procedural decision by the Committee to be established under the new Agreement in 1996; the establishment of a practical guide to the new Agreement; and the use of information technology in government procurement and statistical reporting requirements, for which the Interim Committee established a specific Working Group on Statistical Reporting.

The Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft

The Chairman informed the Committee on Trade in Civil Aircraft of his views regarding the status of the Agreement. While the 1979 Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft was included as such in an Annex to the WTO Agreement, attempts to at least adapt its provisions to the new WTO framework have been to far unsuccessful. The Chairman was of the opinion that this situation was highly unsatisfactory because the application of the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft in its present form was creating considerable legal uncertainty and, in addition, there was no effective dispute settlement procedure. Several delegations shared the Chairman's views and agreed to work further with him to resolve this matter. The Chairman also reported to the Committee on the work of the Sub-Committee established to conduct negotiations under Article 8.3 of the Agreement on Trade in Civil Aircraft, which also met once this year, primarily to review replies to a questionnaire on government involvement in the civil aircraft sector. The Chairman plans to hold informal consultations on how the Sub-Committee should continue its work.

The International Dairy Agreement

As of 27 November 1995, Argentina, Bulgaria, the European Communities, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Romania, Switzerland and Uruguay were parties to the Agreement. At its meeting in October, the International Dairy Council decided to suspend until December 1997 both the implementation of the Annex to the Agreement which contains minimum export price provisions, and the Committee on Certain Milk Products whose function was to monitor the implementation of the Annex.

The International Bovine Meat Agreement

As of 27 November 1995, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the European Communities, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, the United States and Uruguay were parties to the Agreement. At its June meeting, the Council had an exchange of views on the functioning of the Agreement in light of past experience under its predecessor, the Tokyo Round Arrangement Regarding Bovine Meat, and the Uruguay Round outcome. Parties agreed that the functions of the new International Meat Council should take into account the priority nature of work in the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. The Council decided not to re-establish the Meat Market Analysis Group and to include in the Council's agenda those items which had been usually discussed in that body.

III. THE COMING YEAR

Developments that are likely to concern the WTO in 1996 fall into one of two categories: a continuation of activities began this year, related to the implementation of the results of the Uruguay Round and to the WTO program of activities for Africa; and the continued exploration, in a variety of fora, of new topics that have been suggested for possible multilateral consideration.

(1) Ongoing work  Back to Top

As the WTO program of activities for Africa is briefly described above (paragraph 47), it only remains to reaffirm the Secretariat's commitment to give the project a high priority in 1996. We are very much aware that practical suggestions and pragmatic actions for accelerating Africa's integration into the world market are urgently needed.

Similarly, many of the implementation activities that will occupy delegations and the Secretariat in 1996 were begun this year, and therefore have already been described above. These include the ongoing implementation of substantive commitments and notification requirements, as well as of the mandated reviews, negotiations and other actions, including cooperation with the World Bank and the IMF. As regards the fulfilment of notification requirements, the record this year in a number of areas has to be improved. It is very important for a wide range of WTO activities that the pace, and in some cases the quality, of notifications increase in those areas, and that the notification momentum be maintained in the other areas. Notifications are essential for transparency and for the future work of WTO Committees. They permit Members to collectively verify that the various agreements are being implemented as intended, to thereby muster further domestic political support for the agreements, while at the same time making it easier for firms and traders to take advantage of the new trading opportunities.

The extended services negotiations is another area where it is critically important to maintain a strong implementation momentum in 1996; 30 June 1996 is the ratification deadline for the Protocol on Financial Services; the Protocol on the Movement of Natural Persons enters into force on 31 January 1996 and is open for acceptance until 30 June; the negotiations on basic telecommunications are scheduled to conclude on 30 April 1996; and the negotiations on maritime services are scheduled to conclude by the end of June. Because each of these services is not only traded in its own right, but is also an input into the trade of other goods and services, giving them the benefit of multilateral rules and improved market access will provide an important boost to international integration through trade and to global efficiency.

Although it is generally referred to as one of the "new issues", the interaction between trade and the environment is already on the WTO agenda. As was noted above, the Committee on Trade and Environment is well along towards the goal of presenting next December's Ministerial Conference with a report that combines substantive progress on a range of issues and the material Ministers will need to set the Committee's work program for 1997-98.

(2) Two additional topics for possible multilateral consideration  Back to Top

Along with trade and environment, a number of new topics or initiatives have been proposed, by analysts and policy makers, for consideration at a multilateral level. This is not the place to attempt a detailed discussion of each of them. What I would like to do instead is to briefly consider two of the more widely discussed possible topics: regionalism and the multilateral trading system, and investment and competition policies.

Regionalism and the multilateral trading system

As was noted above, 12 preferential trade arrangements have been notified to the WTO Secretariat, during the first 11 months of 1995. In addition, there are a number of other regional trading arrangements currently under consideration. In mid-November, the leaders of the APEC countries, meeting in Osaka, made further progress in their plans to bring about free trade throughout the region by the year 2020. Earlier this year there was intensive discussion of a proposal for a Trans Atlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA) between the European Communities and the United States. Although the support for a TAFTA appears to have declined, the issue of closer economic co-operation, and the form it may take, is an important item on the agenda of the Madrid Summit in December. Efforts are actively being pursued at the political and technical levels for the creation of a free trade area encompassing all the Americas. The Declaration issued at the end of the recent meeting in Barcelona between the European Communities and a number of Mediterranean countries envisages, among other things, a free trade area in industrial goods in the year 2010.(24)

The trade-mark of current regionalism is, first, that it goes beyond, sometimes far beyond, exchanging trade concessions in the traditional area of goods, and second, that the goals are not just economic, but also involve intensified efforts to create a more stable international political environment. For the WTO to help ensure that regionalism remains open and compatible with multilateralism, Members need to approach the issue on different levels. Last April, the WTO published a study which identified many of the shortcomings of the existing rules and procedures and explored some actions that might be considered in an effort to correct those shortcomings.(25) But efforts in these areas will be of limited use unless they are supported by more fundamental measures to ensure that regionalism and multilateralism progress in parallel. In this sense, the importance of the WTO's agenda for future work, which should be both solid and wide-ranging well beyond consideration of specific regional initiatives, is crucial.

Investment and competition policies

Since the end of the Uruguay Round, the question of the need for further examination of investment policy and competition policy in relation to the international trading system has been the subject of lively discussion in formal and informal settings outside the WTO.(26) This has, in part, been prompted by a perception of a need for a broader conception of market access in an increasingly globalized and integrated world economy, addressing not only traditional trade policy measures but also other policy areas important for the ability of companies to supply markets, including commercial presence in overseas markets, for the supply of goods as well as services, and the control of anti-competitive practices which might hinder market access. This has generated interest in exploring options for future international arrangements in these areas, including the role which could be played by the WTO.

The possibility of future action in the WTO in the area of investment has been alluded to particularly in connection with the consideration of possible approaches towards the establishment of a set of multilateral rules on investment. Intensive negotiations have been initiated under the aegis of the OECD to develop a "Multilateral Agreement on Investment". The question that has been raised is whether, because of the substantive interlinkages between the subject matter of these negotiations and WTO rules - for example in the areas of trade in services, intellectual property and trade-related investment measures - and because of the need to ensure a truly multilateral dimension that would enable the interests of all trading nations to be taken into account, it is desirable that the WTO decide at an early stage to initiate an examination of investment policy issues.

Along with the OECD and perhaps the WTO, investment policy is also present or on the agenda in other important fora, including NAFTA, APEC and the latest initiative between the European Communities and the United States, due to be launched at the early December meeting in Madrid. A question worth considering is whether, instead, the focus should be on a single multilateral negotiation in the WTO.

The relationship between trade and competition policy has been under consideration for some time in the OECD and may be a subject for discussion at the forthcoming UNCTAD IX conference. Proposals by independent expert groups on future international arrangements on trade and competition policy have attracted considerable attention. Some WTO Agreements, notably GATS and the TRIPS Agreement, already contain certain competition-related provisions, and issues in the area of competition policy are also being addressed in the current negotiations under the GATS on basic telecommunications. A number of recent trade disputes have highlighted the question of the market access implications of competition policy, especially as it applies to certain distribution arrangements. These examples raise the question of whether the WTO should only deal with competition policy-related issues in an ad hoc manner in the context of specific trade policy questions, or whether an overall examination of the links between trade and competition should be initiated with a view to developing a coherent multilateral vision of how trade policy and competition policy can be mutually supportive. As with investment policy, competition policy is included in a number of important regional agendas.

Other topics

A number of other topics were mentioned by Ministers at Marrakesh as possible candidates for the WTO agenda, including the relationship between the trading system and internationally recognized labour standards, the relationship between immigration policies and international trade, and the interaction between trade policies and policies relating to financial and monetary matters, including debt and commodity markets. Among those which have attracted considerable attention in the media and public statements is the one involving labour standards.

Arguments in favour of linking the trading system to internationally recognized labour standards stress that non-enforcement of such standards allegedly results in an "unfair" competitive advantage, or in a violation of universal human rights, and that if political and popular concerns on these issues are not addressed substantively there will be increased pressure for unilateral trade measures to deal with the situation. Alternatively, it is noted that there appears to be little empirical evidence linking the non-enforcement of internationally recognized labour standards to trade issues, that enforcement of such standards should be dealt with in the proper fora (for example, the ILO) using means other than trade restrictions (for example, financial and technical assistance and better market access opportunities), and that using trade restrictions to enforce labour standards would not only be susceptible to protectionist abuse but could, by reducing their economic growth, also reduce the ability of low income countries to afford better labour standards. Despite extensive examinations of this issue in other international fora, including the ILO and the OECD, there is no agreement on the existence of a link between trade and the enforcement of labour standards.

A final note

The initial years of a new organization's life are crucial to its future credibility and effectiveness. We made a good beginning this year with respect to some aspects of the implementation of the Uruguay Round results. But the coming year will be even more crucial. Implementation must continue, in some instances at an accelerated pace to make up for inadequate progress this year.

And, of course, there are the preparations for the Ministerial Conference in Singapore in December. The agenda for that meeting will include an evaluation of progress in implementing the Uruguay Round commitments, including the obligation for the Ministerial Conference to review progress in areas ranging from trade and the environment to the impact of the Round on least-developed countries. This means that the Singapore agenda should be essentially a non-confrontational one, and we should be on our guard against any attempts to make it anything else. Likewise the future work of the WTO, to which we all hope Singapore will give a fresh impetus, has some clear agreed directions. And even at the frontier of the multilateral system - the suggested new agenda items - I am confident that we will be able to ensure that the system continues to move forward, as it must, on the basis of consensus.

(1)Part I.F of the CONTRACTING PARTIES' Decision of 12 April 1989 (BISD 36S/403), which established the TPRM, provided for the GATT Council to undertake an overview of developments in the international trading environment, assisted by an annual report of the Director-General setting out major GATT activities and highlighting significant policy issues affecting the multilateral trading system. The first report was discussed at a special meeting of the Council on 11 December 1989, and the last report was discussed at a special meeting of the Council on 15 December 1994.

(2)This section draws on the WTO's International Trade: Trends and Statistics , 1995 and on recent forecasts by the IMF and the OECD.

(3)When the trade statistics of countries whose currencies have recently appreciated against the dollar are converted into dollars, the resulting figure is larger than it would have been if the exchange rate against the dollar had remained unchanged.

(4)See Chapter 1 of International Trade: Trends and Statistics, 1995. The discussion also considers other evidence of globalization, identifies the factors behind this trend and draws conclusions for current trade policies

(5)Many of the WTO activities reviewed in this section are described in considerably more detail in the 1995 reports of WTO Committees and other bodies to the WTO General Council.

(6)The Working Group's report (G/NOP/W/2/Rev.1) covers only agreements in Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement (that is, trade in goods). The number of notifications in the area of Services and TRIPs is approximately 40, giving a total of some 215 WTO notification requirements.

(7)In addition to the fact that not all notifications due in 1995 have been made, there are a number of notifications on substantive commitments which were not due this year, while in the case of the agreed reductions in tariffs, it is assumed that they have been made on schedule unless a complaint is made by a WTO Member (no such complaints have been received).

(8)A particularly high profile early case involved the proposed imposition by the United States of import duties on automobiles from Japan under Sections 301 and 304 of the Trade Act of 1974. Faced with a stalemate in the bilateral negotiations with Japan over access to the Japanese automobile and auto parts market, the United States announced on 16 May 1995 its intention to impose a 100 per cent tariff on Japanese luxury cars as of 28 June. Japan requested urgent consultations pursuant to the DSU, alleging that the United States violated, inter alia, GATT Articles I and II. Separately, the United States indicated its intention to request consultations with Japan over the auto and auto parts issue under the DSU. On 28 June 1995, Japan and the United States reached an agreement on the auto and auto parts issue, and the United States withdrew its announcement of the 100 per cent tariff.

(9)EC - Member states' import regimes for bananas (DS32/R), EC - Import regime for bananas (DS38/R), United States - Restrictions on imports of tuna (DS29/R), United States - Taxes on automobiles (DS31/R). As of 27 November, none of the four panel reports have been adopted.

(10)Chile - Taxes on distilled spirits (DS53/1)

(11)EC - Anti-dumping duties on imports of cotton yarn from Brazil (ADP/137)

(12)EC - Anti-dumping duties on audio tapes in cassettes originating in Japan (ADP/136)

(13)United States - Countervailing duties on certain carbon steel flat products from several Member states of the EC (SCM/189).

(14)United States - Imposition of countervailing duties on certain hot-rolled lead and bismuth carbon steel products originating in France, Germany and the United Kingdom (SCM/185).

(15)United States - Countervailing duties on non-rubber footwear from Brazil (SCM/94)

(16)In particular the Decision on Measures in Favour of Least-Developed Countries and the Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries.

(17)However, different time frames were provided: former MFA members not maintaining import restrictions under the MFA had to state their option and (if relevant) had to provide their integration lists by the end of March 1995, while non-MFA participants had until the end of June 1995 to do so, and until the end of December 1995 to notify their integration programmes for the first stage.United States - Countervailing duties on non-rubber footwear from Brazil (SCM/94).

(18)There are five disputes that remain before the Tokyo Round Committee: (i) Report of the Panel on EC subsidies on export of wheat flour (SCM/42), (ii) Report of the Panel on EC subsidies on export of pasta products (SCM/43), (iii) Report of the Panel on the imposition by Canada of countervailing duties on imports of boneless manufacturing beef from the EC (SCM/85), (iv) Report of the Panel on the German exchange rate scheme for Deutsche Airbus (SCM/142), (v) Report of the Panel on the imposition by the United States of countervailing duties on certain hot-rolled lead and bismuth carbon steel products originating in France, Germany and the United Kingdom (SCM/185).

(19)There are four disputes that remain before the Committee serving the Tokyo Round Code on Anti-Dumping Practices: (i) European Communities - Anti-dumping duties on audio tapes and cassettes originating in Japan; (ii) United States - Anti-dumping duties on imports of stainless steel plate from Sweden; (iii) United States - Anti-dumping duties on imports of gray portland cement and cement clinker from Mexico; and (iv) United States - Imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of seamless stainless steel hollow products from Sweden.

(20)However, developing countries may invoke a two-year delay (five years for the least-developed countries) in the implementation of the Agreement as it regards their measures on imports, if immediate application is not possible because of the lack of technical expertise, technical infrastructure or resources.

(21)It is estimated that there are about 600 standardizing bodies worldwide, including central government, local government and non-governmental bodies.

(22)Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, the European Communities, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Venezuela and the United States.

(23)The six are Australia, Canada, the European Communities, Japan, New Zealand and Norway.

(24)Similar movements are underway elsewhere. To take just one example, the seven-nation South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) grouping Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, met in mid-November in New Delhi to discuss further extension of their preferential trade arrangement (SAPTA). According to reports, the arrangement may extend beyond preferential tariff concessions to include policies on intra-regional investments and joint ventures, harmonization of customs procedures and technology.

(25)"Regionalism and the World Trading System", WTO Secretariat, April 1995.

(26)There is a long history of consideration of investment policy and competition policy matters in the GATT/WTO framework, going back to work on the Havana Charter in 1947. Moreover, existing WTO rules in certain areas address some aspects of investment policy and of competition policy. To take first the area of investment policy, the TRIMs Agreement addresses the use of certain performance requirements and the GATS deals with the supply of services through commercial presence, that is, through foreign investment. The TRIPS and Government Procurement Agreements also address certain aspects of investment policy. As regards competition policy, both the GATS and the TRIPS Agreement contain provisions on this matter. Article 9 of the Agreement on Trade-Related Investment Measures provides for a consideration of the need for provisions on investment policy and competition policy not later than five years after the date of entry into force of the WTO Agreement.

Appendix Table 1: Fulfillment of Selected Notification Requirements as of 27.11.1995 Back to Top

(Figures refer to Members whose WTO membership had entered into force by 31.7.95)

  Subsidies Countervailing

Duties

Anti-Dumping Safeguards Agriculture State

Trad.

Rules of Origin Custom

Val.

Tex & Cloth.
  (25.1) Laws Semi- Ann. Laws Semi- Ann. Laws (18.2) XVII (5.1) (Annex) Laws (2.7)
Antigua and Barbuda             NA         NA
Argentina   X X X X X NA X X     X
Australia X X X X X X X X X X X NA
Bahrain             NA         NA
Bangladesh             NA       X X
Barbados   X   X X             NA
Belize             NA         NA
Bolivia X X   X   X NA     X   X
Botswana X     X     NA         NA
Brazil   X X X X X           X
Brunei Darussalam             NA   X X X NA
Burkina Faso             NA       X NA
Burundi             NA       X NA
Canada X X X X X X X X X X   X
Central African Rep.             NA       X NA
Chile   X X X X X NA X     X NA
Colombia X X X X X X X X X X X X
Costa Rica X X X X X X X X X   X X
Cte d'Ivoire             NA       X NA
Cuba   X X X X X NA   X X X NA
Cyprus   X   X     NA X       NA
Czech Republic X X X X X X X X X X   X
Djibouti             NA         NA
Dominica             NA         NA
Dominican Republic   X X X X X NA     X X X
EC X X X X X X X X X X X X
Egypt   X X X X X NA       X  
El Salvador   X   X   X         X X
Gabon             NA       X NA
Ghana             NA       X NA
Guatemala   X   X   X         X X
Guinea Bissau             NA         NA
Guyana             NA         NA
Honduras   X X X X X NA   X X X X
Hong Kong X X X X X X NA X X X   NA
Appendix Table 1: Fulfillment of Selected Notification Requirements as of 27.11.1995

(continued)

  Subsidies Countervailing

Duties

Anti-Dumping Safeguards Agriculture State Trad. Rules of Origin Custom Val. Tex & Cloth.
  (25.1) Laws Semi- Ann. Laws Semi- Ann Laws (18.2) XVII (5.1) (Annex) Laws (2.7)
Hungary   X X X X X X   X X X X
Iceland   X X X X X X   X     NA
India X X X X X X NA   X X   X
Indonesia X X X X X X   X   X X X
Israel   X   X   X         X NA
Jamaica   X   X     NA   X X X  
Japan X X X X X X X X X   X X
Kenya             NA       X  
Korea   X X X X X X X X   X X
Kuwait             NA         NA
Lesotho             NA          
Macau       X   X NA X       NA
Malawi             NA         X
Malaysia X X X X X X X X   X X NA
Maldives   X   X   X NA         NA
Mali             NA         NA
Malta         X   NA   X X X NA
Mauritania             NA         NA
Mauritius X X   X   X NA X X X X NA
Mexico   X X X X X           X
Morocco   X   X X X X   X X NA NA
Myanmar             NA       X NA
Namibia             NA         X
New Zealand X X X X X X X X X X X NA
Nigeria             NA         NA
Norway X X X X X X X X       X
Pakistan     X   X X NA       X X
Paraguay   X   X   X NA       X X
Peru   X X X X X NA X X X NA X
Philippines   X X X   X X X   X X X
Poland   X X X X X X X       X
Romania   X X X X X X X X   X X
Saint Lucia   X   X X   NA         NA
Saint Vincent & Gre.             NA         NA
Appendix Table 1: Fulfillment of Selected Notification Requirements as of 27.11.1995

(continued)

  Subsidies Countervailing Duties Anti-Dumping Safeguards Agriculture State Trad. Rules of Origin Custom Val. Tex & Cloth.
  (25.1) Laws Semi- Ann. Laws Semi- Ann. Laws (18.2) XVII (5.1) (Annex) Laws (2.7)
Senegal             NA       X NA
Sierra Leone             NA         NA
Singapore   X X X X X NA X X X X NA
Slovak Republic   X X X X X X X X X X X
Slovenia   X X X X   X   X X   X
South Africa   X X X   X X X X     NA
Sri Lanka   X   X   X NA       X  
Suriname X X   X     NA         NA
Swaziland             NA         NA
Switzerland X X X X X X   X X   X X
Tanzania     X   X   NA         NA
Thailand X X X X X X X X X X X X
Togo             NA       X NA
Trinidad and Tobago   X X X   X NA         NA
Tunisia                     X X
Turkey X X X X X X NA X       X
Uganda             NA         NA
United States   X X X X X X X X X   X
Uruguay   X X X X X NA X   X X X
Venezuela X X X X X X X   X X X X
Zambia   X X X X X NA       X NA
Zimbabwe             NA       X NA

X = Notification received by the WTO Secretariat (as of 27.11.1995).

NA = Not Applicable (for this WTO Member at the current time).

Blank = Missing Notification (or in a few cases incomplete notification).

Notifications Included in Survey:

1. Subsidies. (Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, Article 25:1; GATT 1994, Article XVI:1).

2. Countervailing Duties: Laws/Regulations. (Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, Article 32.6).

3. Countervailing Duties: Semi-Annual Report. (Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, Article 25:11). (Report period January 1 - June 30).

4. Anti-Dumping: Laws/Regulations. (Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994, Article 18:5).

5. Anti-Dumping: Semi-Annual Report. (Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of GATT 1994, Article 16:4). (Report period January 1 - June 30).

6. Safeguards: Law/Regulation. (Agreement on Safeguards, Article 12:6).

7. Agriculture: Notification of tariff rate and other quota administration. (Agreement on Agriculture, Article 18:2).

8. State Trading Enterprises (Understanding on the Interpretation of Article XVII of GATT 1994, paragraph 1).

9. Rules of Origin: Existing non-preferential rules of origin. (Agreement on Rules of Origin, Article 5:1).

10. Rules of Origin: Existing preferential rules of origin. (Agreement on Rules of Origin, Annex II, paragraph 4).

11. Customs Valuation: Laws or, for developing country Members invoking Article 20:1 regarding delayed application, notification of delayed application. (Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of GATT 1994, Article 22 and 20:1).

12. Textiles and Clothing: Integration program for first stage. (Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, Article 2:7).

Appendix Table 2 : Disputes under the WTO Back to Top

(1 January-27 November 1995)

Dispute title Complainants Agreement(s)

cited

Product or

Sector

Consultations requested* Panel

established

Settlement notified
Malaysia - Prohibition of imports of polyethylene and polypropylene Singapore GATT

Licensing

Petrochemical 13 Jan 95   19 Jul 95
United States - Standards for reformulated and conventional gasoline Venezuela GATT

TBT

Petroleum 2 Feb 95 10 Apr 95  
Korea - Measures concerning the testing and inspection of agricultural products United States GATT, SPS

TBT, Agricult.

Agriculture 6 Apr 95    
United States - Standards for reformulated and conventional gasoline Brazil GATT

TBT

Petroleum 12 Apr 95 31 May 95  
Korea - Measures concerning the shelf-life of products United States GATT, SPS

TBT, Agricult.

Agriculture 5 May 95   31 Jul 95
United States - Imposition of import duties on automobiles from Japan under Sections 301 and 304 of the Trade Act of 1974 Japan GATT Automobile 22 May 95   19 Jul 95
European Communities - Trade description of scallops Canada GATT

TBT

Fish 24 May 95 19 Jul 95  
Japan - Taxes on alcoholic beverages EC GATT Beverages 29 Jun 95 27 Sep 95  
European Communities - Duties on imports of cereals Canada GATT

Cus. Val.

Agriculture 10 Jul 95 11 Oct 95  
Japan - Taxes on alcoholic beverages (Canada) Canada GATT Beverages 17 Jul 95 27 Sep 95  
Japan - Taxes on alcoholic beverages (United States) United States GATT Beverages 17 Jul 95 27 Sep 95  
European Communities - Trade description of scallops (Peru) Peru GATT

TBT

Fish 25 Jul 95 11 Oct 95  
European Communities - Duties on imports of grains (United States) United States GATT

Cus. Val.

Agriculture 26 Jul 95    
European Communities - Trade description of scallops (Chile) Chile GATT Fish 31 Jul 95 11 Oct 95  
Japan - Measures affecting the purchase of telecommunications equipment EC GATT Telecom equipment 24 Aug 95   apparent settlement
Poland - Import regime for automobiles India GATT Automobiles 28 Sep 95    
European Communities - Regime for the importation, sale and distribution of bananas Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, United States GATT

Licensing

GATS

Agriculture 28 Sep 95    
European Communities - Duties on imports of rice Thailand GATT

Cus. Val.

Agriculture 11 Oct 95    
Australia - Measures affecting the importation of salmon Canada GATT

SPS

Fish 11 Oct 95    
Korea - Measures concerning bottled water Canada GATT, SPS, TBT Beverages 8 Nov 95    
21. Australia - Measures affecting the importation of salmonids United States GATT

SPS

Fish 17 Nov 95    

*Date of circulation.

Appendix Table 3 - Summary of Countervailing Duty Actions, 1994-951 Back to Top

(Based on notifications as of 6.11.1995 from Members as of 31.7.1995)

  Initiation Provisional measures2 Definitive

duties3

Price undertakings Measures in force on 30 June 19954
Argentina 2 0 0 0 n.a.5
Australia 1 0 0 0 13
Brazil 0 5 0 0 1
Canada 2 0 1 0 6
Chile 1 0 1 0 0
EC 0 0 0 0 1
Mexico 1 1 0 0 n.a.5
New Zealand 1 0 0 0 1
Peru 4 2 0 0 n.a.5
United States 5 3 6 0 103
Venezuela 0 0 0 0 3
Total 17 14 8 0 128

n.a. = not available

Notes: 1. The reporting period covers 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995. The table includes actions covered by the Tokyo Round Agreement, the WTO Agreement and Article VI of GATT 1947. The table is based on information from Members that have submitted their semi-annual notification and therefore is incomplete because 35 notifications are missing for the period 1.7.94-31.12.94, and 52 are missing for the period 1.1.95-30.6.95.

2. Negative preliminary determination not included.

3. Negative determinations not included.

4. Includes definitive duties and price undertakings.

5. Did not submit a separate list of measures in force during this period.

Appendix Table 4 - Exporters subject to initiations of countervailing Back to Top

investigations, 1994-951

(Based on notifications as of 6.11.1995 from Members as of 31.7.1995)

  Total   Total
European Communities2 8 Republic of South Africa 1
Korea 2 Thailand 1
Argentina 1 Turkey 1
Brazil 1 United States 1
China 1    
    Total 17

Notes: 1. The reporting period covers 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995. The table includes actions covered by the Tokyo Round Agreement, the WTO Agreement and Article VI of GATT 1947. The table is based on information from Members that have submitted their semi-annual notification and therefore is incomplete because 35 notifications are missing for the period 1.7.94-31.12.94, and 52 are missing for the period 1.1.95-30.6.95.

2. Initiations concerning exporters of the European Communities and its member States

are reported as notified. Figure includes Austria, Finland and Sweden.

Appendix Table 5 - Summary of Anti-Dumping Actions, 1994-951 Back to Top

(Based on notifications as of 6.11.1995 from Members as of 31.7.1995)

  Initiation Provisional Measures2 Definitive

Duties3

Price Undertaking s Measures in Force on 30 June 1995
Argentina 6 6 6 2 34
Australia 6 5 2 1 86
Brazil 12 2 0 0 18
Canada 9 2 13 1 91
Chile 2 2 3 0 2
Colombia 1 0 2 0 6
EC 37 15 21 1 178
India 9 3 0 0 5
Japan 0 0 0 0 2
Korea 3 7 3 0 6
Mexico 18 19 15 0 42
New Zealand 9 0 1 0 22
Peru 4 1 0 0 n.a.5
Singapore 2 2 0 0 0
South Africa, Rep.6 9 0 1 n.a. n.a.5
Thailand 0 0 1 0 17
Turkey 2 0 11 0 38
United States 30 44 48 3 305
Venezuela 1 2 2 0 n.a.5
Total 160 113 129 8 805

n.a. = not available

Notes: 1. The reporting period covers 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995. The table Includes actions covered by the Tokyo Round Agreement, the WTO Agreement and Article VI of GATT 1947. The table is based on information from Members that have submitted their semi-annual notifications and therefore is incomplete because 34 notifications are missing for the period 1.7.94-31.12.94, and 53 are missing for the period 1.1.95-30.6.95. 2. Negative preliminary determination not included.

3. Negative determinations not included.

4. Figure refers to measures in force as at 31 December 1994.

5. Did not submit a separate list of measures in force.

6. South Africa did not submit a report for the period 1 January-30 June 1995. Hence, the

figures reflect only actions during the period 1 July-31 December 1994.

7. As at 31 December 1994.

Appendix Table 6 - Exporters subject to two* or more initiations of anti-dumping investigations, 1994-951
Back to Top

(Based on notifications as of 6.11.1995 from Members as of 31.7.1995)

  Total   Total
China 27 Hong Kong 4
European Communities or its member States2 17 Kazakhstan 4
Korea, Rep. 10 Ukraine 4
Indonesia 8 Argentina 3
Japan 7 India 3
Thailand 7 Malaysia 3
United States 7 Uzbekistan 3
Russian Fed. 6 Belarus 2
Brazil 5 Philippines 2
Chinese Taipei 5 South Africa 2
Mexico 5 Turkey 2
    Total 1363

Notes:
1. The reporting period covers 1 July 1994 to 30 June 1995. The table Includes actions covered by the Tokyo Round Agreement, the WTO Agreement and Article VI of GATT 1947. The table is based on information from Members that have submitted their semi-annual notifications and therefore is incomplete because 34 notifications are missing for the period 1.7.94-31.12.94, and 53 are missing for the period 1.1.95-30.6.95.

2. Initiations concerning the European Communities and its member states. Figure includes initiations regarding Austria, Finland and Sweden before 1 January 1995.

3. Does not include exporters subject to only one initiation (see below). The total number of initiations including those listed below is 160.

* Countries subject to only one initiation of an anti-dumping investigation are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia (Former Yugoslav Republic of), Moldova, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Viet Nam and Yugoslavia.