WTO NEWS: 2003 NEWS ITEMS
Dispute Settlement Body 1 December 2003
EC, Canada and US to discuss next move in hormone-treated beef case
The European Communities asked Canada and the US to initiate a compliance procedure to assess the WTO consistency of the EC's new measure in the hormone-treated beef case but Canada and the US said that they would rather hold further discussions.
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.
Surveillance of implementation
The US said that the US Administration continued to work with Congress to achieve further progress in resolving this dispute.
The EC noted that, at the end of the month, two years would have passed since the expiry of the implementation period. The EC added that persisting inaction of the US had left it no other option than retaliation.
Japan asked the US to report to the DSB in detail on how soon and in what manner it intended to comply. Japan also reminded the US of its right to suspend concessions.
DS176: United States — Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998
The US stated that the US Administration continued to work with US Congress on appropriate statutory measures that would resolve the matter.
The EC reminded the US that the deadline for implementation would expire at the end of the month. The EC said that it appeared that once again the US would not respect its obligation to comply. The EC added that the bill introduced in June 2003 offered a basis to resolve this dispute.
Cuba commented that, in spite of the US embargo, Cuba respected US intellectual property rights the same way that it respected other WTO Members' intellectual property rights.
DS184: United States — Anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel products from Japan
The US said that it had proposed a modification of the implementation deadline from 31 December 2003 or the end of the 108th Congress session to 31 July 2004. The US added that it had requested a DSB meeting for 10 December 2003 in this connection.
Japan urged the US to make every effort to implement as soon as possible. Japan added that it looked forward to being further consulted by the US on its concrete plan for implementation.
DS207: Chile — Price band system and safeguard measures relating to certain agricultural products
Chile said that on 16 December 2003 a new price band system for wheat and wheat flour would come into force and that since 25 September 2003 other products were excluded from the system.
Argentina replied that the preservation itself of the price band system was inconsistent with the recommendations of the DSB. Argentina added that it was ready to try to find a solution with Chile before the deadline.
Brazil commented that the new system was the same measure that was found inconsistent by the Appellate Body.
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The EC recalled that at the DSB of 7 November 2003 the US and Canada had declared that the EC measures taken to comply with the hormones ruling were still WTO inconsistent. The EC recalled also that the US and Canada had officially stated their intention to maintain their suspension of concessions. The EC said that Canada and the US should initiate multilateral procedures (as described in Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding) to determine whether the EC was now in compliance. The EC added that it was ready to discuss more in detail with them how to address this matter appropriately.
Canada said that it was ready to have bilateral discussions with the EC but that it was up to the EC to be in compliance. Canada added that it saw no reason at the moment to remove its sanctions or to move in any other way.
The US said that it had always been ready to discuss with the EC any matters regarding its compliance and that it would be pleased to discuss with EC officials any outstanding issues.
DS212: United States — Countervailing measures concerning certain products from the European Communities
The EC expressed concern with the treatment of four cases where the US Department of Commerce had refused to examine the nature of the privatizations and where the countervailing measures thus remained in force. The EC said that discussions were ongoing between the European Commission and the Department of Commerce but that it reserved its right to initiate compliance proceedings.
The US said, as it did at the 7 November DSB, that it had complied with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB. The US added that it would be happy to discuss with the EC possible approaches to the EC's concerns.
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DS296: United States — Countervailing duty investigation on dynamic random access memory semiconductors (DRAMS) from Korea
Korea said that it had serious concerns regarding the countervailing duties imposed by the US against Korean DRAMS. Korea added that consultations had not resolved the dispute and that this was why it requested the establishment of a panel.
The US blocked Korea's first request for a panel, arguing that there was overwhelming evidence regarding the Korean Government's subsidization of the troubled Korean DRAMS producer Hynix.
DS299: European Communities — Countervailing duty investigation on dynamic random access memory semiconductors (DRAMS) from Korea
Korea explained that it had similar concerns with countervailing duties imposed by the EC on Korean DRAMS.
The EC answered that the issue of Korean subsidies and their impact on the semiconductor market had been discussed almost exhaustively and that the EC regretted to see that Korea still wished to pursue this dispute in the WTO.
Like the US, the EC did not agree to the establishment of the panel requested by Korea.
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The DSB adopted its annual report 2003.
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A special meeting of the DSB will take place on 10 December 2003.
The next regular DSB will meet on 23 January 2004.
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