Dispute Settlement Body 27 January 2003

DSB adopts panel and Appellate Body reports on “Byrd Amendment”

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 27 January 2003, adopted the Appellate Body report and the panel report as amended by the Appellate Body on the US Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000, otherwise known as the Byrd Amendment. (DS217 & DS234)

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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 on this issue as soon as it resumed work.

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

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

The US said that, as the new US Congress resumed work, the US Administration would continue to work with it 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 repeal of the 1916 Anti-Dumping Act with effects on future cases only could not be considered a satisfactory solution.

Japan mentioned that the US Congress had not passed the bills repealing the 1916 Act before the end of its session in 2002. Japan said that it was truly regrettable and disappointing that the US was yet to implement when two years had passed since the adoption of the reports of the Appellate Body and the panel.

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

The US recalled that on 20 December 2002 the US and the EC had agreed to extend the reasonable period of time for implementation until 30 June 2003. The US added that, as the new US Congress resumed work, the US Administration would work with it to resolve this dispute.

The EC acknowledged that it had given more time to the US to comply and said that it now expected the US Administration to work actively with the new US Congress. The EC added that the US should clarify that Section 211 did not apply to a new trademark after a former trademark, to which Section 211 may have applied, had been abandoned.

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 in respect to the recommendations and rulings of the DSB that were not addressed in the 22 November 2002 antidumping duty determination of the US Department of Commerce, the US Administration would continue to consult and to work with the Congress as it resumed its work with a view to resolving this matter.

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


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Implementation of the recommendations of the DSB

DS212: United States — Countervailing measures concerning certain products from the European Communities

The US said that it intended to implement the DSB recommendations and rulings. The US added that it would need a reasonable period of time in which to do so and that it was ready to discuss this matter with the EC.

The EC said that this dispute had a long history and that the principle underlying the findings in this case had been established by the Appellate Body in the case “United States — Imposition of countervailing duties on lead & bismuth carbon steel from the UK” (DS138). The EC added that it hoped that this time the US would ensure a prompt and good faith implementation of the WTO rulings. The EC said that the US would only require a very short — if at all — period of time for implementation.


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Panels established

DS246: European Communities — Conditions for the granting of tariff preferences to developing countries

India requested the establishment of a panel for the first time at the DSB meeting on 19 December 2002.

India said that the generalized system of preferences (GSP) under the Enabling Clause was an exception to the most-favoured-nation (MFN) obligation only to the extent that it allowed discrimination in favour of developing countries. India argued that the object of the exception was to facilitate and promote the trade of developing countries and that the imposition of conditions unrelated to this objective violated the MFN treatment obligations and the Enabling Clause. India added that it had taken up these issues bilaterally with the EC but that it had found no response to its concerns.

The EC said that the EC GSP scheme was an autonomous regime granted on a non-reciprocal, generalized and non-discriminatory basis, in full conformity with the EC’s GATT/WTO commitments, including the Enabling Clause. The EC reminded the DSB that its special incentive under the GSP to combat drug production and trafficking, as well as the special incentive arrangements for labour and the environment, were fully in line with internationally recognized objectives aimed at the promotion of sustainable development. The EC added that the only sensible course of action for India was to withdraw its request for the establishment of a panel.

The DSB agreed to establish a panel. The following Members requested to be third parties: Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Paraguay, United States, Venezuela, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia.


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Adoption of report

DS217 & DS234: United States — Continued dumping and subsidy offset act of 2000

Canada welcomed the Appellate Body and the panel’s finding that the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (CDSOA) was inconsistent with the Antidumping Agreement and the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. Canada suggested that the US bring the CDSOA into conformity by repealing it.

Chile, India, Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Japan, and the EC also urged the US the repeal the Act.

The US urged Members to object to the Appellate Body report but said that it would respect its WTO obligations and would implement the DSB recommendations and rulings.

The DSB adopted the recommendations and rulings of the Appellate Body and of the panel as amended by the Appellate Body.

Proposed amendments to the working procedures for appellate review

The DSB reviewed some amendments to the working procedures for appellate review proposed by the Appellate Body. The Chairman said that he would transmit Members’ comments to the Appellate Body by 31 January 2003.

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Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB will take place on 19 February 2003.

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