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Dispute Settlement Body 1 October 2002

Panels established to examine US measures on “orange juice” and “softwood lumber”

At its meeting on 1 October 2002, the Dispute Settlement Body established two panels, one to examine the equalizing tax imposed by Florida on processed orange and grapefruit products, and the other to examine the US' final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada.

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This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and Media Relations Division to help public understanding about developments in WTO disputes. It is not a legal interpretation of the issues, and it is not intended as a complete account of the issues. These can be found in the reports themselves and in the minutes of the Dispute Settlement Body’s meetings.

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Implementation of the recommendations of the DSB

DS160: United States — Section 110(5) of the US copyright act

The US said that it was seeking a positive and mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute with the European Communities. The US added that the US Administration had been engaging with the US Congress with a view to resolving this dispute.

The EC said that it hoped work in Congress would be accelerated in the near future.

DS136 & DS162: United States — Anti-dumping Act of 1916

The US said that bills repealing the 1916 Act had been introduced in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate and that those bills would apply to all pending court cases. The US said that it would continue to work for further progress in resolving this dispute with the EC and Japan.

The EC said that the serious concerns it had expressed at the last Dispute Settlement Body meeting had remained unheard. The EC added that the status report showed again no progress towards implementation and that this persistent non-implementation sent a worrying signal on the readiness of the US to modify domestic law to comply with WTO obligations.

Japan said that while the bill was still in the Congress, the suspended proceedings in the US domestic courts under the 1916 Act had been reopened as of 8 August, and that some Japanese companies were suffering serious and real financial consequences.

DS176: United States — Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998

The US reminded the Members that the reasonable period of time for implementation of the DSB’s recommendations and rulings would expire on December 31 2002, or on the date on which the current session of the US Congress would adjourn, whichever was later. The US said that the US Administration had been consulting with the US Congress concerning the appropriate statutory measures.

The EC said that it hoped that a satisfactory solution would be reached within the reasonable period of time.

Cuba said that since the Appellate Body had shown the incompatibility of Section 211 with the US’ international intellectual property commitments, this Section should be abolished.

DS184: United States — Anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel products from Japan

The US said that the US Department of Commerce had published a proposed change to its "arm’s-length" test that was intended to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.

Japan reminded the Members that the reasonable period of time for implementation was due to expire on 23 November 2002 and said that it was gravely concerned that the US may not complete its implementation by then.

The EC reiterated its position in favour of a speedy and orderly implementation of the conclusions and recommendations of the Panel and Appellate Body reports.


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Panels established

DS257: United States — Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada

Canada, for the second time, requested the establishment of a panel.

The US said that it had concerns with Canada’s panel request. First, the US said, Canada had failed to consult on some of the measures it raised in its panel request. Second, Canada was repeatedly burdening the system with hypothetical disputes.

The panel was established. The following Members requested to be third parties: the EU, Japan and India.

[Three other cases brought by Canada exist on the US’ softwood lumber import regime: DS236, DS247 and DS264]

DS250: United States — Equalizing excise tax imposed by Florida on processed orange and grapefruit products

Brazil requested for the second time the establishment of a panel. Brazil added that it hoped that continued consultations, even as the panel went forward, could lead to a constructive and mutually acceptable solution.

The US said that it believed that Florida’s equalizing excise tax was consistent with its WTO obligations and that further dialogue would result in a mutually satisfactory solution to this matter.

The panel was established. The EU, Mexico and Paraguay requested to be third parties.


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Adoption of report

DS211: Egypt — Definitive anti-dumping measures on steel rebar from Turkey

Turkey said that it did not fully agree with all of the Panel’s conclusions in this case but that, with the belief that Egypt would take the necessary measures towards implementation, it did not intend to appeal the report.

Egypt said that it agreed with the findings of the Panel and that it would take the necessary actions to implement its recommendations either immediately or within a reasonable period of time.

The DSB adopted the panel report.

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Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB will take place on 11 November 2002.

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