WTO NEWS: 2003 NEWS ITEMS
Dispute Settlement Body 7 November 2003
Dispute settlement body establishes three panels, including on Australia's quarantine regime
At the same meeting, the United States and Canada contested the European Communities’ announcement of compliance in the hormone-treated beef dispute (DS26 &DS48).
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 would continue to work with Congress to achieve further progress in resolving this dispute.
The EC complained about the lack of progress and added that EC companies were currently facing substantial litigation costs.
Japan wondered if the US would implement and reminded the US of its right to suspend concessions.
Mexico expressed interest in the US' implementation.
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 was approaching and expressed hope that the bill introduced in June 2003 in US Congress would offer a solution to the dispute.
Cuba reiterated its preoccupation about the lack of implementation on the part of the US.
DS184: United States — Anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel products from Japan
The US said that the US Administration continued to work with the US Congress to address the recommendations and rulings of the DSB that were not addressed by the original deadline of 23 November 2002.
Japan urged the US Administration to do its utmost to ensure compliance before the new revised deadline, 31 December 2003 or the end of the 108th Congress session, whichever was earlier. Japan also reminded the US of its right to suspend concessions.
DS207: Chile — Price band system and safeguard measures relating to certain agricultural products
Chile announced that on 16 December 2003 a new price band system for wheat and wheat flour would come into force.
Argentina said that the only way to implement the recommendations of the DSB in that case was to drop the price band system and to apply straightforward tariffs. Argentina added that it was ready to try to find a solution with Chile before the deadline.
DS212: United States — Countervailing measures concerning certain products from the European Communities
The US announced that with final revised determinations issued for each of the twelve countervailing determinations – some of them revoking the countervailing orders, some keeping them in place – the US had implemented the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.
The EC responded that it was still evaluating the reasons why the US Department of Commerce had not performed an analysis of the privatization in four of the twelve cases.
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The EC announced the entry into force of a new directive concerning the prohibition on the use in stockfarming of certain hormones. The EC said that the new directive was based on a risk assessment performed by an independent scientific committee. This committee, the EC said, identified a risk for consumers for each of the hormones the use of which was banned in the EC for growth promoting purposes. The EC stated that, accordingly, they considered that with the entry into force of the directive, the EC was in conformity with the DSB recommendations and rulings in the hormone case. The EC added that it thus expected that the US and Canada would terminate their suspension of concessions to the EC.
The US responded that the directive neither removed the EC's unjustified
ban on US beef, nor did it present an appropriate risk assessment as a
basis for the ban. The US said that it could not therefore understand how
the new directive could amount to the implementation of the DSB
Likewise, Canada said that it saw no new scientific evidence in the new risk assessment and that it consequently saw no reason to remove the existing sanctions.
The EC concluded that on the basis of the US and Canada's reaction, it would reflect on necessary appropriate action.
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DS287: Australia — Quarantine regime for imports
The EC requested for the second time a panel on Australia's quarantine regime for imports.
Australia expressed concern about the potential harm this challenge posed to Members' ability to maintain quarantine systems adapted to their particular circumstances. Additionally, Australia questioned the EC's motivations in bringing this challenge, given that it did not appear to be about commercial considerations.
The DSB established a panel. The following countries requested to be third parties: Canada, the Philippines, US, China, Chile, Thailand and India.
DS295: Mexico — Definitive anti-dumping measures on beef and rice
The US said that Mexico's antidumping measure on long-grain white rice from the US was WTO inconsistent and for the second time asked for the establishment of a panel.
Mexico said that it would defend its case vigorously.
A panel was established. EC, China and Turkey requested to be third parties.
DS269: European Communities – Customs classification of frozen boneless chicken cuts
For the second time Brazil requested a panel, explaining that since the EC reclassification of frozen boneless chicken cuts, the EC duty on that product had risen from 15.4% to 102.4 euro/100kg/net.
The EC said that it was determined to defend its interests.
The DSB established a panel. The following countries requested to be third parties: US, China, Chile and Thailand.
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DS286: European Communities — Customs classification of frozen boneless chicken cuts
In its first request for a panel, Thailand complained about the consequences of the EC reclassification of frozen boneless chicken.
Arguing that Thailand had misunderstood or misinterpreted its legislation, the EC blocked the establishment of a panel.
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Selection process for the Appellate Body
The DSB decided to appoint Professor Merit E. Janow as Appellate Body Member to replace Mr. James Bacchus. The DSB also reappointed Messr. Abi-Saab, Ganesan and Taniguchi (Press release).
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The DSB will next meet on 21 November 2003.
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