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Dispute Settlement Body 29 July 2002

Single panel on steel will consider complaints of 8 countries

At its meeting on 29 July 2002, the DSB decided to include Brazil to the list of seven other countries which have requested the establishment of a panel to examine the United States' “Definitive safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products”. Thus, a single panel will examine the complaints of 8 members: Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and the European Union.

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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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Request for the establishment of panels

DS259: United States — Definitive safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products

The United States accepted a 1st time request by Brazil for the establishment of a panel to rule on the safeguard measures taken by the United States. Brazil said that the measures “have considerably disturbed the world steel market and have had a significant impact upon Brazil's exports of steel”. The US said it regretted the Brazil challenge but it believed that “this request should be referred to the single panel already established at the request of China, the EC, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland so that a single panel would consider all eight panel requests”.

DS237: Turkey — Certain import procedures for fresh fruit

Ecuador made its second request for the establishment of a panel to examine Turkey's measures. But in view of the recent modifications to its procedures made by Turkey, Ecuador decided to postpone the composition of the panel so both countries can examine in detail the technical implications of these measures to see if they meet Ecuador's concerns. Turkey said it was disappointed by Ecuador's request and said the legal basis for the panel do not exist. Nevertheless it hoped for a bilateral solution. The panel was established and the US and the EC requested third party rights.

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Panel request deferred

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

The US rejected the first time request for the establishment of a panel by Canada. Canada considers that the US measures “violates the obligations of the US under the agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures” and GATT 1994. The US regretted Canada's request since it believes that Canada's claims “lack merit”. It also added that in its request Canada has identified a new measure on which there has not been any consultation. The US said it could not agree to the establishment of a panel at this time.

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Adoption of report

DS206: United States : Anti-dumping and countervailing measures on steel plate form India.

The DSB adopted the panel report on this dispute. Both countries made statements in which they welcomed part of the rulings but disagreed with others. The US said it believes this report was “thoughtfully and carefully reasoned”. India hoped for a prompt and full implementation of the ruling. Chile said it had a systemic interest in the correct interpretation and implementation of the provisions of the Antidumping Agreement.

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Other business

Under other business, the chairman of the DSB recalled that the list of panelists approved by the DSB on 31 May 1995 should be updated every two years and asked members to do so before the end of November 2002.

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Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 1 October 2002.

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