Dispute Settlement Body 10 December 2003

DSB adopts panel and Appellate Body reports on US steel safeguards

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 10 December 2003, adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports on the United States' definitive safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products.

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This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariats 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 Bodys meetings.

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

The US, after consultation with Japan, requested that the DSB modify the reasonable period of time for implementation so as to expire on 31 July 2004. The previous reasonable period of time ended with the adjournment of the first session of the 108th Congress.

Japan expressed hope that the additional seven months would lead to a definitive solution to the long-standing dispute.

The DSB agreed to the extension of the reasonable period of time until 31 July 2004.


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Adoption of report

DS245: Japan Measures affecting the importation of apples

The US said that it was pleased to request the adoption of the panel and Appellate Body reports and hoped that Japan would now remove its WTO-inconsistent measures.

Japan regretted that the Appellate Body had upheld the panel's conclusion regarding the inconsistency of Japan's measure with the Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures (SPS Agreement). Japan added that it would in due course inform the DSB of its intention in respect of implementation.

The EC regretted the absence of clarity in the Appellate Body report concerning the nature of Members' right to adopt provisional measures under Article 5.7 of the SPS Agreement.

New Zealand commented that the reports served to reinforce the careful balance struck in the SPS Agreement between the right of Members to take measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and their other rights and obligations under the WTO Agreements.

The DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the panel report as amended by the Appellate Body.


DS248, DS249, DS251, DS252, DS253, DS254, DS258, DS259: United States Definitive safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products

The EC, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, China, Brazil, Thailand and Venezuela welcomed both the adoption of the Appellate Body and panel reports and the US Government's decision on 4 December 2003 to remove the steel safeguard measures.

Japan, Norway and China announced that, given the termination of the US safeguards, they would refrain from exercising their right to suspend concessions.

Japan commended the EC on the withdrawal of its own safeguard measures and urged other such Members who took measures in reaction to the US' steel safeguards to remove them. Norway also called for the speedy termination of these safeguards.

The DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the panel report as amended by the Appellate Body.


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Next meeting

A special meeting of the DSB will take place on 19 December 2003.
The next regular DSB will meet on 23 January 2004.

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