Dispute Settlement Body 19 February 2003

US blocks first panel request on cotton subsidies

At the Dispute Settlement Body, on 19 February 2003, the United States blocked Brazil's first panel request on upland cotton subsidies (DS267).

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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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Surveillance of implementation

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

The US said that it was still seeking a positive and mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute with the European Communities. The US added that the US Administration would continue to engage the US Congress.

The European Communities expressed its disappointment and urged the US to take rapid and concrete action to settle the dispute.

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

The US said that the US Administration would continue to work with the US Congress to achieve further progress in resolving this dispute.

The EC requested the US Administration to convey to the US Congress that the lack of implementation of this ruling was seriously affecting the credibility of the US’s commitments to the WTO dispute settlement system. The EC added that a proper implementation should not only repeal the 1916 Antidumping Act but also terminate the pending court cases.

Japan said that it expected the US Administration to make its utmost efforts to have the repealing bills of the 1916 Act submitted to and passed in the first session of the 108th Congress currently under session.

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

The US said that the US Administration would work with the new Congress with a view to resolving this dispute.

The EC said that two months had already elapsed since the EC had agreed to give another 6 months to the US to comply. The EC said that it hoped that the US administration and the US Congress were actively taking advantage of this extra time.

Cuba said that it was disappointed with the lack of progress made by the US.

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

The US said that the US Administration would continue to consult and to work with the Congress with a view to resolving this matter with Japan in a mutually satisfactory manner.

Japan expressed regret and concern about the delay in implementation by the US.


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Panel request deferred

DS267: United States — Subsidies on Upland Cotton

The US blocked Brazil's first request for a panel. (According to WTO dispute settlement procedures, the next time Brazil makes its request, it will be automatically approved.)

Brazil said that the US subsidies violated the WTO Agreements on Agriculture, Subsidies and Countervailing Measure and GATT 1994. Brazil added that US subsidy payments for the marketing year ending on 31 July 2002 alone totalled almost $4 billion dollars, and that the value of US upland cotton production for that same period was $3 billion, which represented a subsidization rate of over 130 percent.

The US said that it regretted Brazil's decision and suggested that further consultations could have been fruitful. The US added that its cotton support programs were within its allowable WTO limits and were consistent with its WTO obligations.


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Other business

DS206: United States — Anti-dumping and countervailing measures on steel plate from India

The US informed the DSB that it had implemented the DSB's recommendations and rulings. The US said that on 7 February 2003 US administering authorities had issued a new determination in the investigation at issue.

India said that the methodology of re-determination had not yet been made available and that in these circumstances it was not clear whether the US had implemented. India added that the US had once again failed to use the US sales data of the Indian exporter.

DS217: United States — Continued dumping and subsidy offset act of 2000 (“Byrd Amendment”)

The US expressed its surprise concerning the scheduling of a special dispute settlement body meeting to discuss its implementation plans in the “Offset Act of 2000” case.

The Chairman of the DSB informed the US that the meeting had been called by the eleven co-complainants in the case.

The EC said that according to Article 21.3 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding the US was under the obligation to inform other Members of its intentions regarding implementation. Canada, Korea, Japan, India, Brazil and Chile agreed with the EC.

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Next meeting

A special meeting of the DSB will take place on 26 February 2003.
The next regular meeting of the DSB will take place on 18 March 2003.


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New chairpeson

The DSB elected Ambassador Shotaro Oshima of Japan as its new chairperson.

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