Settlement Body 26 February 2003
US ready to discuss reasonable period of time to implement findings in the “Byrd Amendment” case
At its meeting on 26 February 2003, the Dispute Settlement Body noted that parties to the “Byrd Amendment” dispute were ready to start discussing a reasonable period of time required by the US to implement the findings in this case (DS217 & DS234).
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The co-complainants had requested this meeting to hear US' intentions regarding implementation of the findings in this dispute, since the DSB had adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports at its meeting on 27 January 2003. They explained that according to DSU Article 21.3 the US was obliged to notify its intentions regarding implementation at a DSB meeting held within 30 days after the date of adoption. The co-complainants also stated that they were ready to discuss with the US the reasonable period of time for implementation.
The US said it was puzzled as to why the co-complainants had requested this meeting since the US had already declared its intentions to comply with the rulings at the DSB meeting on 27 January 2003 and repeated them at the DSB meeting on 19 February 2003. The US maintained that there was nothing in DSU Article 21.3 which prevented a Member from immediately stating its intention during the discussion leading to the adoption of the reports. The US also maintained that there was nothing in Article 21.3 which obliged it to state that it required a reasonable period of time. The US concluded by saying that it was clear that it would need a reasonable period of time to implement.
(According to Article 21.3 of the DSU, the parties have 45 days from the date of adoption — i.e. from 27 January 2003 — to agree on a reasonable period of time. If they are unable to reach an agreement, the issue is referred to arbitration.)
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