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|Short title: ||
(as cited in request for consultations)
|Request for Consultations received:
|Panel Report circulated:
||22 December 1999
Summary of the dispute to date back to top
The summary below was up-to-date at
See also: One-page summary of key findings of this dispute
Complaint by the European Communities.
On 25 November
1998, the EC requested consultations with the US in respect of Title III,
chapter 1 (sections 301-310) of the US Trade Act of 1974 (the Trade Act),
as amended, and in particular sections 306 and 305 of this Act. The EC
by imposing strict time limits within which
unilateral determinations must be made and trade sanctions taken,
sections 306 and 305 of the Trade Act do not allow the US to comply
with the rules of the DSU in situations where a prior multilateral
ruling under the DSU on conformity of measures taken pursuant to
implementation of DSB recommendations has not been adopted by the DSB.
the DSU procedure resulting in a multilateral
finding, even if initiated immediately after the end of the reasonable
period of time for implementation, cannot be finalised, nor can
subsequent DSU procedure for seeking compensation or suspension of
concessions be complied with, within the time limits of sections 306
Title III, chapter 1(sections 301-310) of the Trade
Act, as amended, and in particular sections 306 and 305 of the Act,
are inconsistent with Articles 3, 21, 22 and 23 of the DSU; Article
XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement; and Articles I, II, III, VIII and XI of
the Trade Act nullifies and impairs benefits
accruing, directly or indirectly, to it under GATT 1994, and also
impedes the objectives of GATT 1994 and of the WTO.
On 26 January 1999, the EC
requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 17 February
1999, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.
Panel and Appellate Body proceedings
Further to a second
request to establish a panel by the EC, the DSB established a panel at its
meeting on 2 March 1999. Brazil; Canada; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba;
Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Hong Kong, China; India; Israel; Jamaica;
Japan; Korea; St. Lucia and Thailand reserved their third-party rights. On
24 March 1999, the EC requested the Director-General to determine the
composition of the Panel. On 31 March 1999, the Panel was composed. The
report of the panel was circulated to Members on 22 December 1999. The
Panel found that Sections 304(a)(2)(A), 305(a) and 306(b) of the US Trade
Act of 1974 were not inconsistent with Article 23.2(a) or (c) of the DSU
or with any of the GATT 1994 provisions cited. The panel noted that its
findings were based in full or in part on US undertakings articulated in
the Statement of Administrative Action approved by the US Congress at the
time it implemented the Uruguay Round agreements and confirmed in the
statements by the US to the panel. The panel stated therefore that should
those undertakings be repudiated or in any other way removed, its findings
of conformity would no longer be warranted. The DSB adopted the panel
report at its meeting on 27 January 2000.
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