DSB considers panel request by Honduras to examine Dominican Republic's measures affecting cigarettes
At the DSB meeting on 19 December 2003,
the Dominican Republic blocked Honduras' first-time request for a
panel on the former's measures affecting cigarettes.
Turkey’s trade policy review calls for continued reforms
Turkey’s economic reforms could be strengthened by continued structural adjustment, privatization and improved goods and services commitments, to attract foreign investment and make its trading regime more predictable, says a Secretariat report on the country’s trade policies and practices released on 19 December 2003.
The WTO and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association have published a new booklet on the multilateral trading system, based on regional workshops for African and Caribbean Parliamentarians held in Cape Town and Port-of-Spain in 2003.
Chair wraps up: negotiating groups can restart, but still no deal on tough issues
Members are willing to restart work in the negotiating groups, but there is still no major breakthrough, General Council Chairperson Carlos Pérez del Castillo said on 16 December 2003. He was wrapping up the council’s discussion on the follow up from the Cancún Ministerial Conference.
26th WTO Trade Policy Course ends
Twenty-two government officials from developing
countries and economies in transition completed on 11 December 2003 a
three month training on the multilateral trading system, its rules and
Denmark donates another 600,000 Swiss francs for WTO technical assistance
Denmark pledged a new contribution of DKK 3
million (CHF 600,000) on 17 December to the Doha Development Agenda
Global Trust Fund, for 2004. Denmark contributed a similar amount in
Professor Merit Janow sworn in as new Appellate Body member
In a ceremony presided over by Ambassador Shotaro
Oshima, chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, Professor Merit Janow of the
United States was sworn in as a member of the Appellate Body at the WTO on
15 December 2003.
‘Time to reactivate the negotiating groups and other bodies’ — General Council chair and DG
WTO’s negotiating groups and the Trade Negotiations Committee should be
reactivated Chairperson Carlos Pérez del Castillo and WTO Director-General
Supachai told the General Council on 15 December 2003. They had suspended
the groups after the Cancún Ministerial Conference ended inconclusively in
September, and their reports kicked off the General Council’s
deliberations on ending the deadlock, as ministers had instructed in
WTO Appellate Body confirms US anti-dumping sunset review of certain Japanese steel products is legal
The WTO Appellate Body’s 15 December 2003 report
on dispute DS244, “United States — Sunset Review of Anti-Dumping Duties on
Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products from Japan”, reversed some
of the legal reasoning of the original panel report, issued on
14 August 2003. In particular, the Appellate Body found that the US Sunset
Policy Bulletin can be challenged in WTO dispute settlement. Although
their analysis of Japan’s claims differed in important respects, neither
the panel nor the Appellate Body made any finding that the United States
had acted inconsistently with its obligations under the Anti-Dumping or
the WTO Agreement.
Dispute body adopts rulings on US steel safeguards and Japan’s measures on apples
The Dispute Settlement Body, on
10 December 2003, adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports on US
definitive safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products and
Japanese measures affecting the importation of apples.
Vietnam starts its ‘quantum jump’ but still some way to go
Vietnam’s membership negotiations entered a new phase as its working party started work on key points of draft “elements” of a working party report on 10 December, but members warned that a lot of work still remains.
Chairman reports progress in relaunching trade negotiations
General Council Chairman Amb. Carlos Pérez del Castillo, at an informal
Heads of Delegations meeting on 9 December 2003, reported progress in
consultations with members for relaunching negotiations but gaps remain
wide among positions. Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi urged members
to keep working with a sense of urgency and engagement.
Switzerland contributes a total of 1.5 million Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance
Switzerland, on 4 December 2003, made a contribution of 750,000 Swiss
francs to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. This is in
addition to an earlier Swiss contribution of the same amount.
Liberal trade policies help Chile cope with external shocks
WTO members, in concluding their third trade policy review of Chile on
4 December 2003, said that liberalization policies since the last review
in 1997 have made Chile's economy more resilient and enabled the country
to cope well with a number of external shocks over the past years.
Training course on dispute settlement
Participants representing 27 governments are
following a one-week training program on the rules and procedures which
govern the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
EC, Canada and US to discuss next move in hormone-treated beef case
The European Communities, at the DSB meeting on 1 December 2003, 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.
Panel rules on India-EU dispute on GSP tariff preferences
The WTO, on 1 December 2003, issued a panel report that found EU's special
tariff preferences for 12 developing countries under its “Drug
Arrangements”, as prescribed in the EU’s GSP regulation, to be in
violation of trade rules because they discriminate against other
developing countries. One panelist dissented from the report.
1st Specialized Course on Trade in Services
Twenty-four government officials from developing
countries and economies in transition attended a course on trade in
services and more specifically the WTO General Agreement on Trade in
Appellate Body issues report on US-Japan apple dispute
The Appellate Body, on 26 November 2003, issued
a report upholding the findings of a panel that Japan's quarantine
restrictions on imports of apples from the United States are inconsistent
with certain provisions of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary
Supachai welcomes support from leaders of IMF and World Bank
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
welcomed, on 21 November 2003, the strong support shown by IMF Managing
Director Horst Köhler and World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn who
sent a joint letter to global leaders encouraging them to redouble their
efforts in advancing the Doha Development Agenda global trade talks.
African trade ministers urge resumption of negotiations
Trade ministers from 12 African countries, in a statement after an informal meeting with Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi in Cairo on 13-14 November 2003, called on the WTO membership — particularly the major trading partners — “to return to the negotiating table in the shortest possible delay”.
DSB establishes panel on EU's customs classification of frozen boneless chicken cuts
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 21 November
2003, established a panel to examine Thailand's complaint against the
EU's customs classification of boneless chicken cuts.
The Netherlands donates 1.4 million euro to WTO technical assistance
The Netherlands Government pledged, on 19 November
2003, a contribution of 1.4 million euro (1.8 million Swiss francs) to the
Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
New webpage set up for decision on intellectual property and public health
The WTO website now includes a dedicated page
for member governments to make known their use (or intention to use)
provisions allowing cheaper pharmaceutical products to be traded more
easily across borders under compulsory licensing.
Morocco joins WTO's Information Technology Agreement
Morocco, on 14 November 2003, joined a WTO
agreement on removing all tariff barriers to information technology
products such as personal computers and telecoms equipment.
Members encourage Thailand to continue reforms
WTO members, at the conclusion of their fourth
trade policy review of Thailand on 14 November 2003, encouraged the
country to continue with trade liberalization and structural reforms,
which have contributed to the steady development of the economy since the
previous review in 1999.
DSB establishes 3 panels
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 7 November 2003,
established three panels to examine, respectively, Australia's quarantine
regime for imports, Mexico's anti-dumping measures on beef and rice, and
the European Communities' customs classification of frozen boneless
Appellate Body issues report on steel dispute
The Appellate Body, on 10 November 2003, issued
its report on the complaints brought to the WTO by Brazil, China, the
European Communities, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland
against United States — Definitive Safeguard Measures on Imports of
Certain Steel Products. It upheld most of the Panel's conclusions that the
US measures were inconsistent with the WTO Safeguards Agreement and the
GATT 1994 but reversed some findings regarding tin mill products and
stainless steel wire which did not affect the overall result.
Supachai urges China to help rebuild confidence in trade talks
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the Beijing International Forum on 10 November 2003, called on China, as one of the world's leading economic nations, to help rebuild ambition and confidence in the Doha Development Agenda. He was the first WTO Director-General to visit China since the country joined the organization.
WTO appoints new Appellate Body Member and reappoints three existing Members
The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) appointed on
7 November 2003 Ms Merit E. Janow of the United States to the Appellate
Body and reappointed Messrs Georges Michel Abi-Saab of Egypt,
Arumugamangalam Venkatachalam Ganesan of India and Yasuhei Taniguchi of
Harbinson will give up Agriculture Committee Chair
Stuart Harbinson, Director of the Office of WTO
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, announced on 6 November 2003 that
he intends to give up the chairmanship of the agriculture negotiations.
Members commend Haiti's economy as one of most liberal in Latin America
WTO members, in concluding their first trade
policy review of Haiti on 6 November 2003, said that the country's
unilateral reform efforts have made it one of the most liberal economies
in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Supachai says DDA failure would be lost opportunity for developing countries
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a keynote address to the Third City of London Biennial Meeting on 4 November 2003, said that failure to advance the Doha Development Agenda would be a “lost opportunity” for developing countries to become more fully integrated into the global economy, and to benefit from the economic growth that trade can generate.
Supachai: sluggish trade growth calls for urgent pick up of stalled trade talks
The sluggish performance in global trade last
year and the prospects for weak trade expansion in 2003 reinforces the
already pressing need for WTO member governments to get global trade
negotiations back on track, said Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
following release of the WTO’s International Trade Statistics 2003 on
5 November 2003.
Members encourage Guyana to accelerate reforms
WTO members, in concluding their first trade
policy review of Guyana on 31 October 2003, encouraged Guyana to continue
and accelerate the pace and scope of its trade reform efforts. A number of
members urged that problems of small developing economies, like Guyana, be
addressed in the current trade negotiations.
WTO Secretariat reports significant decline in new anti-dumping investigations
The WTO Secretariat reported, on 23
October 2003, that in the period 1 January to 30 June 2003, 18 Members
initiated 79 anti-dumping investigations against exports from a total of
30 different countries or customs territories. This represents a
significant decline from the corresponding period of 2002.
France contributes 100,000 euros to WTO technical cooperation
The Government of France, on
21 October 2003, made a contribution of 100,000 euros (150,000 Swiss
francs) to WTO technical cooperation activities related to the
implementation of the Agreement of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Norway donates 6 million Norwegian Kroner to DDA Fund
The Government of Norway pledged on
14 October 2003 a contribution of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (CHF 1.2 million)
to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Hong Kong China to host next Ministerial Conference
WTO members accepted today
(21 October 2003) Hong Kong, China’s invitation for the Sixth WTO
Ministerial Conference to be held there, but postponed a decision on the
Trade reforms boost Bulgaria's economy
WTO members in concluding their
review of Bulgaria's trade policies and practices on 17 October 2003 said
that trade reforms have contributed to the country's high rates of
economic growth in the past five years.
Members back efforts to put negotiations back on track
General Council Chairman Carlos
Pérez del Castillo and Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, during an
informal meeting of Heads of Delegation on 14 October 2003, reported that
their consultations show members are willing to get back to work in line
with the mandate agreed by Ministers at Cancún.
DSB establishes panel on EC trademark and geographical indication rules
On 2 October 2003, the Dispute
Settlement Body agreed to established a panel to examine European
Community rules on the protection of trademarks and geographical
indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs. The United
States and Australia requested the panel (DS174 & DS290).
NGO participation in Ministerial Conference was largest ever
Just under 800 non-governmental
organizations and almost 1,600 of their representatives attended
the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, a record in the
WTO’s eight-year history.
6th Specialized Course on WTO Dispute Settlement ends
Twenty-seven government officials
completed on 3 October a five-day immersion into the rules
and procedures of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism.
26th WTO Trade Policy Course begins
Twenty four government officials
attended on 22 September 2003 the opening session of the
26th WTO Trade Policy Course, which is being held in Spanish. The
brief ceremony was chaired by Mr. Paul Rolian, Director of the Institute
for Training and Technical Cooperation, who welcomed the participants.
Members voice strong support for Honduras' reform programme
WTO members, in concluding their
first trade policy review of Honduras on 1 October 2003,
expressed strong support for the country's ongoing economic and
institutional efforts, including trade and investment liberalization.
They were heartened by Honduras' statement that it sees closer integration
in the world economy as a development tool.
WTO commends Niger and Senegal for reform efforts
Members, in concluding their
trade policy review of Niger and Senegal on 24 September 2003,
recognized that the two countries face real resource constraints
in implementing their reform programmes. They urged organizations
to provide more technical assistance, and for trading partners to
help by ensuring that their markets are fully open to products from
Niger and Senegal.
Cancún: The real losers are the poor
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi,
in the International Herald Tribune edition of 18 September 2003,
wrote that the future of trade issues of potential benefit to developing
countries such as market-opening in manufactured products, services
and agriculture, are uncertain because of lack of agreement at Cancún.
He added that he would immediately look for ways to move the WTO
Cancún failure is “not good news” for Africa
Deputy Director-General Kipkorir
Aly Azad Rana, in a speech at the Second East African Business Summit
in Nanyuki, Kenya on 18 September 2003, described as “very
wrong-headed” the view by some commentators that the failure by
Ministers to agree in Cancun was good news. “For us in Africa, this
means fewer development opportunities,” he said.
Day 5: Conference ends without consensus
The Cancún Ministerial Conference
ended on 14 September after Chairperson Luis Ernesto Derbez concluded
that despite considerable movement in consultations, members remained
entrenched, particularly on the “Singapore” issues.
Day 4: As ministers comment on new draft, Chairperson warns of dangers of failure
Following the new draft declaration’s
circulation and a long meeting in which ministers criticized the
points they disliked, Chairperson Derbez expressed concern, in the
early hours of 14 September, that failure would damage the
world economy and the trading system.
Belgium donates 2 million euro to WTO technical assistance
The Belgian government, on 13 September 2003,
committed itself to contribute CHF 3,080,000 (2 million
euro) over 4 years — 2004 to 2007 — to the WTO Doha Development
Agenda Global Trust Fund. The Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Louis Michel, announced the donation during his speech at the fifth
WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún.
Day 3: ‘Facilitators’ start work on new draft declaration
As the conference’s half-way
point passed, the chairperson’s “facilitators” wrapped up their
first round of consultations and began drafting a new ministerial
Day 2: Cambodia and Nepal membership sealed as ministers start negotiations
Ministers began negotiations
on 11 September 2003 with an informal heads of delegations meeting
followed by group discussions on the key issues, while in a formal
session they approved the membership agreements of Cambodia and
WTO ministers approved Cambodia’s
and Nepal's membership agreements today (11 September 2003),
putting them in line to become the WTO’s 147th and 148th members
and the first least-developed countries to join the WTO through
the full working party negotiation process.
WTO and the ACP sign agreement on technical assistance
WTO Director-General Dr. Supachai
Panitchpakdi and the Secretary General of the ACP (Africa, Caribbean
and Pacific) Group of Countries, Mr Jean-Robert Goulongana, signed
10 September in Cancún, Mexico, a Memorandum of Understanding for
closer cooperation between the two organizations on providing training
and technical assistance for ACP countries.
Austria contributes 310.000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Austria, on
10 September 2003, pledged to contribute 310,000 Swiss francs to
the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund of the WTO.
WTO disputes overtake 300 mark
Three hundred and one disputes
have been brought to the WTO's dispute settlement system since its
creation less than nine years ago. This compares to the roughly
300 disputes brought to its predecessor, the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade (GATT), during its entire existence of almost
Day 1: Conference kicks off with ‘facilitators’ named and cotton debated
Mexican President Vicente Fox
opened the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference on 10 September 2003,
and ministers started work in consultations on key issues with “facilitators”.
The day ended with a debate on a proposal on cotton from four African
Mexican Government, WTO Secretariat express regret at death in Cancún
The Mexican Government and the
WTO Secretariat at the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference regret the
death of the Korean citizen Kun Hai Lee, as a result of a self-inflicted
wound at a gathering today of Non-Governmental Organizations in
‘Show leadership at Cancún,’ Supachai tells African Union
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
urged African countries on 9 September 2003 to remain
engaged in the Doha negotiations at the highest level. Already Africa’s
increased participation has started to bear fruit, he said.
WTO, UNIDO to work together on trade-related technical assistance
World Trade Organization Director-General
Supachai Panitchpakdi and UN Industrial Development Organization
Director-General Carlos Magariños signed an agreement today 10 September
2003 in Canún, which will provide a framework for the two organizations
to work more closely together to assist developing countries participate
meaningfully in international trade.
Poor countries need trade to escape poverty, Supachai tells Cancún forums
The main contribution the WTO can make to
sustainable development is the successful completion of the Doha
Development Round, Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told meetings
on “making globalization work for people” and sustainable trade
in the sidelines of the Cancún Ministerial Conference.
WTO Members agree on ways to boost least-developed countries’ participation in services negotiations
WTO member governments agreed today (3 September
2003) on how to give special treatment to least-developed countries
in the current services negotiations, as required under the provision
of the General Agreement on Trade in Services dealing with setting
out the framework for negotiations.
Draft Cancún Declaration, as forwarded by Pérez del Castillo and Supachai to ministers
General Council chairperson Carlos Pérez
del Castillo and Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi submitted
their draft Cancún Ministerial Declaration to ministers on 31 August 2003.
In a covering letter, they stress that it has not been agreed “in
any part”, and does not include many of the member governments’
proposals. But, “it remains our best judgement of what could constitute
a workable framework for action by Ministers at Cancún. We believe
it constitutes an adequate and manageable basis for discussion,
and we hope it will prove a useful tool in our search for common
ground in Cancún”.
DSB establishes 6 panels to examine 10 complaints
At its meeting on 29 August 2003, the DSB
established 6 panels to examine 10 complaints including those on
sugar and GMOs.
Decision removes final patent obstacle to cheap drug imports
WTO member governments broke their deadlock
over intellectual property protection and public health today (30 August 2003).
They agreed on legal changes that will make it easier for poorer
countries to import cheaper generics made under compulsory licensing
if they are unable to manufacture the medicines themselves.
President Fox to open Fifth WTO Ministerial
President Vicente Fox of host Mexico will
open the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference at the Cancún Convention
Centre on 10 September 2003, according to the order of business
approved by the General Council on 27 August 2003. The
General Council also agreed to forward to Ministers an invitation
by Hong Kong, China to host the Sixth Ministerial Conference.
WTO issues panel report on Canada-US softwood lumber dispute
The WTO, on 29 August, released the report
of a panel that had examined the case United States — Final countervailing
duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from
Canada (DS 257). The panel, while rejecting some of Canada's claims,
found the US action inconsistent with certain provisions of the
WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
Italy to contribute 1.55 million Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Italy pledged, on 22 August
2003, one million euros (1.55 million Swiss Francs) for 2003 to
the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
US, Canada and Argentina request panel to examine EU moratorium on biotech products
At its meeting on 18 August 2003, the DSB
considered first-time requests from the US, Canada and Argentina
for a panel to examine the EU measures affecting the approval
and marketing of biotech products (DS291, DS292, and DS293).
Nepal set to join WTO at Cancún Ministerial Conference
Nepal’s membership negotiation ended on 15
August when the WTO working party wrapped up its work. Following
closely behind Cambodia, Nepal is set to be the second least-developed
country to join the WTO through the full working party process.
Both countries’ membership is likely to be approved at the Cancún
Ministerial Conference in September.
On 14 August 2003, the WTO issued
the panel report on United States — Sunset Review of Anti-Dumping
Duties on Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products from Japan
(DS244). The panel ruled in favour of the US in respect of all the
claims made by Japan.
World Trade Report 2003
The World Trade Report is a new annual WTO
publication focused on trade trends and policy issues. The 2003
edition examines developments in South-South trade, trends in commodity
markets, and the growth of Regional Trade Agreements.
“Pre-Cancún” introduction course on WTO takes places
Government officials from 21 African and
Caribbean developing and least-developed countries attended, from
14 July to 1 August 2003, an introductory course focusing
on the questions Trade Ministers will discuss at the WTO fifth Ministerial
Conference in Cancún.
General Council extends timeframe to review WTO dispute settlement rules to 31 May 2004
At its meeting on 24 July 2003,
the General Council agreed to extend negotiations in the Dispute
Settlement Body Special Session which is reviewing WTO rules for
dispute settlement. The timeframe was extended from 31 May 2003
to 31 May 2004.
Australia, Brazil and Thailand request a panel to examine the EU sugar subsidy regime
On 21 July 2003, Australia, Brazil and Thailand
made their first request for the establishment of a panel to look
at the European Union's export subsidies on sugar (DS265, DS266
Working party completes Cambodia’s membership negotiation
The WTO working party handling Cambodia’s
membership negotiation completed its work Tuesday 22 July, leaving
a final decision approving membership for the Cancún Ministerial
Conference, in September.
The Appellate Body, in a report issued on
22 July 2003, upheld most of the Panel's findings in the
case EC — Anti-Dumping Duties on Malleable Cast Iron Tube or Pipe
Fittings from Brazil (DS219/AB/R).
25th WTO Trade Policy Course ends
Thirty government officials from developing
countries and economies in transition completed on 22 July 2003
a three month training on the multilateral trading system, its rules
and its procedures.
WTO African Members prepare Cancún
Senior African officials are meeting ITC,
UNCTAD and WTO experts this week to prepare for the next Ministerial
conference. They will discuss agriculture, services, industrial
tariffs and other sectors.
Spain to contribute 230,000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Spain pledged, on
16 July 2003, a donation of 150,000 euros (CHF 230,000)
to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. The contribution
will finance four training courses for Latin American countries
that will take place in the second half of 2003.
WTO issues panel report on US-Japan apple dispute
The WTO, on 15 July 2003, issued the report
of a panel that had examined United States’ complaint about Japan
— Measures affecting the importation of apples (DS/245). The panel
concluded that Japan's quarantine measure in this case was inconsistent
with the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Supachai: Doha talks can unlock Africa's huge economic potential
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the African Union Summit in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003, said that the current trade negotiations will be a vital tool in efforts “to unlock Africa's huge economic potential and raise the living standards of citizens”.
Agencies to step up trade assistance to LDCs
The WTO, IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP and the World
Bank, in a joint communiqué issued on 10 July 2003 in
Washington D.C., said they will step up activities under the Integrated
Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed
Countries (the IF).
Panel report out on US safeguard measures on steel products
The WTO, on 11 July 2003, issued the reports
of a panel, which concluded that the safeguard measures imposed
by the United States on the imports of certain steel products are
inconsistent with the WTO Safeguards Agreement and GATT 1994. The
case was brought to the WTO by the European Communities, Japan,
Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Brazil.
Officials complete WTO dispute-settlement course
Twenty-nine government officials completed,
on 4 July 2003, a five-day immersion into the rules and
procedures governing the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism.
Sixth Geneva Week concentrates on DDA negotiations
The Sixth Geneva Week for Non-Resident Members
and Observers will be held at the WTO from 14 — 18 July 2003. This
edition of Geneva Week has been timed to coincide with meetings
of the Trade Negotiations Committee; the Special Session of the
Committee on Agriculture; and a Dedicated Session of the Committee
on Trade and Development on Small Economies.
Agriculture modalities ‘remain elusive’, negotiations chairperson reports to TNC
The chairperson of the agriculture negotiations
has circulated a report to the Trade Negotiations Committee on 7
July 2003 intended to help WTO member governments prepare for the
Cancún Ministerial Conference in September. In it he describes agreement
on “modalities” as “elusive”, and calls for “collective guidance
and decisions” on a number of key issues in order to achieve the
WTO 2003 annual report out
The WTO, on 4 July 2003, published
its 2003 Annual
Report, which focuses on the first full year of negotiations
under the Doha Development Agenda.
UN head urges more flexibility in Doha talks
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in remarks (opens in new window) at the opening meeting of the 2003 Economic and Social Council on 30 June 2003 in Geneva, said that the Doha Development Agenda could provide “a powerful engine of growth” and urged all negotiators to “show more flexibility, and give priority to the global interest”.
Officials complete WTO course on negotiating trade agreements
Twenty-four officials from developing and
least-developed countries and economies in transition completed
on 27 June 2003 a WTO specialized course “Negotiating Trade Agreements:
from Theory to Practice”.
Trade reforms help bring stability to Indonesian economy
WTO members, after reviewing Indonesia's
trade policies on 27 and 30 June 2003, said that as a
result of government reforms, the economy seems to have stabilized.
They praised Indonesia's trade liberalization efforts, such as bringing
tariffs down to an average of 7.2% in 2002, but also noted
tariff peaks on a few products.
Antigua and Barbuda requests panel against US on gambling and betting
On 24 June 2003, Antigua and Barbuda made
its first request for the establishment of a panel to look at the
United States' measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling
and betting services (DS285).
Panel report out on India-US textiles dispute
The WTO, on 20 June 2003, issued the
report of a panel that had examined India's complaint about United
States - Rules of Origin for Textiles and Apparel Products (DS243).
The panel found that India had failed to establish that the US measures
are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin.
WTO Director-General establishes a Consultative Board on the future of the multilateral trading system
WTO Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi
has established a Consultative Board of eminent persons chaired
by Mr. Peter Sutherland to advise him on the challenges and opportunities
confronting the organization and the multilateral trading system.
WTO urges Morocco to accelerate trade reforms
WTO members, in concluding their two-day
review of Morocco's trade policies on 18 June 2003, applauded
its recent economic performance and urged it to accelerate its trade
reforms with a view to improving efficiency and fully benefiting
from its participation in the multilateral trading system.
Supachai: Doha talks key to reviving the world economy
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his opening remarks at the WTO public symposium “Challenges Ahead on the Road to Cancún” on 16 June 2003, said that it has become increasingly evident to political and business leaders the world over that the weak global economy urgently needs the stimulus of a significant trade liberalization.
Arbitrator gives US until 27 December to implement ruling in ‘Byrd Amendment’ dispute
An arbitrator says the United States should
implement recommendations and rulings by 27 December 2003,
in the two WTO disputes over the US’s Continued Dumping and Subsidy
Offset Act of 2000. The complaining countries in these cases (DS217
and DS234) are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the EU, India,
Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Thailand.
Africa urges end to cotton subsidies; Supachai warns “time running out” on Cancún preparations
President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, in his address to the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) on 10 June 2003, urged an agreement at Cancún to reduce and eventually eliminate cotton subsidies. TNC Chairman Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his opening remarks, warned negotiators that “time is running out” on preparations for the Fifth Ministerial Conference.
Supachai supports Group of Eight consensus on Doha Development Agenda
Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 4 June 2003, welcomed the support
of the Group of Eight nations for the timely conclusion to the Doha
Development Agenda global trade talks, but urged leaders from the
world’s richest nations to transform their pledges of support into
action at the negotiating table so that an ambitious outcome can
be achieved by the 1 January 2005 deadline.
Supachai praises negotiators’ efforts in market access talks, urges governments to work toward agreement
Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 28 May 2003, praised negotiators
from WTO Member Governments for the progress they have made in negotiations
to reduce barriers to trade in manufactured products but urged governments
to apply greater effort to narrow differences and agree on the framework
for continuing work.
WTO chief urges governments to find way forward in negotiations on DSU
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi urged
WTO Member Governments, on 28 May 2003, to find a pragmatic way
forward in their negotiations on improvements and clarifications
to the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU).
WTO Secretariat issues study on adjusting to trade liberalization
While economists emphasize the long-run gains
from trade liberalization, policy makers are worried about the short-run
costs. The WTO Secretariat, on 23 May 2003, issued Special
Study No. 7 “Adjusting to Trade Liberalization — The Role of Policy,
Institutions and WTO Disciplines”, which seeks to identify tools
at the disposal of governments to smooth adjustment, to minimize
an economy's adjustment costs and to alleviate the burden of those
who suffer most.
DSB adopts panel report on Argentina's anti-dumping measures on poultry
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 19 May 2003,
adopted the panel report on Brazil's complaint against Argentina's
anti-dumping duties on poultry from Brazil (DS241).
Market access chairman issues first draft of “modalities” paper
The Chairman of the Non-Agricultural Market
Access Negotiating Group, Ambassador Pierre-Louis Girard, on 16 May 2003
circulated the first draft of the “modalities” paper to member governments,
ahead of the 26-28 May meeting of the Negotiating Group.
Dr. Supachai underlines need to conclude Doha talks successfully and on time
The Director-General, in a speech to the International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington released on 16 May 2003, cited “compelling reasons” to conclude successfully the Doha Development agenda by the deadline of 1 January 2005. They include the uncertain global economic conditions, the spread of bilateral and regional trade arrangements and the need to guarantee more market access to developing countries.
WTO: New Zealand is “one of the most open economies in the world”
WTO members, in concluding their review of
the trade polices and practices of New Zealand on 14 May 2003,
said the country is a “vivid example of the benefits of unilateral
market-oriented reform”. They hoped that New Zealand would take
other members’ concerns in the negotiations, especially with regard
to tariff peaks and SPS measures.
Dr. Supachai consults on implementation issues
Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his capacity as chairman of the Trade
Negotiations Committee, held informal consultations with heads of
delegations on 14 May 2003 to suggest a way of moving
forward on the issue of the extension of additional protection for
geographical indications to products other than wines and spirits.
‘Quantum jump’ needed if Viet Nam is to join in two years
Viet Nam reported progress, on 12 May 2003,
in its membership negotiations, but several delegations said much
more needs to be done, and the working group chairperson told members
that “success will depend on a quantum jump” in efforts if Viet
Nam is to meet its goal of joining by 2005.
World economic agencies call on G-8 to give a push to the Doha talks
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi,
IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler and World Bank President James
Wolfensohn, in a joint statement at the WTO General Council meeting
on coherence on 13 May 2003, appealed to the G-8 leaders
to “provide the political guidance that is needed to allow the trade
negotiations to move forward again before the WTO Ministerial Conference
in Cancún in September”.
France contributes 1.5 million Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance fund
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on
12 May 2003, welcomed France's contribution of 1.5 million Swiss
francs to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
‘Avoiding the worst is no substitute for real progress,’ Supachai tells negotiators
clear priority for about a dozen issues requiring action in or before
the Cancún Ministerial Conference in September, is to reduce the
load to “manageable proportions” by reaching understanding on as
many of these issues as possible, Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
told the Trade Negotiations Committee, which he chairs, on 9 May 2003.
WTO paper out on key issues in the tariff negotiations
The WTO Secretariat, on 6 May 2003, issued a comprehensive discussion
paper on “Industrial Tariffs and the Doha Development Agenda”. Containing
many tables and charts, the paper focuses on the basic mandate
given to negotiators at Doha and looks at specific issues facing
developed, developing and least-developed countries.
EU granted permission to apply US$4 billion sanctions against US in FSC case but delays application
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 7 May 2003,
granted the European Union authorization to increase by US$4 billion
its import tariffs on US goods. The EU said that they were still
willing to give the US a short additional period to make the necessary
UN system heads urge Doha progress for global development
The executive heads of the 27 organizations
of the UN system at their spring session in Paris on 25-26 April 2003
said progress in the Doha negotiations is “urgent because there
are still more than 1 billion people in today's world living
without enough food to eat, without safe water to drink, without
primary schooling or healthcare for their children”.
Introduction course on WTO for LDCs begins
Government officials from 21 least-developed
countries attended, on 6 May 2003, the opening session of the 3rd
Introduction Course on WTO. The session was chaired by Mr. Paul
Rolian, Director of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation
of the WTO, who welcomed all the participants.
End of textile quotas to strengthen WTO, says Dr. Supachai
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi,
in a speech at the Conference
on the Future of Textiles and Clothing after 2005 on 5 May 2003
in Brussels, said “there is no question that the multilateral trading
system will be strengthened by the full implementation of the WTO
Agreement on Textiles and Clothing” at the end of 2004.
WTO Secretariat reports significant decline in new anti-dumping investigations
The WTO Secretariat, on 2 May 2003,
reported that in the period 1 July–31 December 2002, 17 Members
initiated 149 anti-dumping investigations against exports from
a total of 43 different countries or customs territories. This represents
a significant decline from the corresponding period of 2001, during
which 23 WTO Members had initiated 210 anti-dumping investigations.
Lead the way towards compromise, Supachai urges OECD ministers
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi has called on ministers of
the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to show
leadership by making tough political decisions and showing a willingness
to compromise in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. Speaking
in Paris, 30 April 2003, he said negotiators in Geneva
lack instructions from their ministers in agriculture and other
key areas, that are consistent with governments’ commitment to a
The Appellate Body circulated today (1 May 2003) a
revised, consolidated version of its Working Procedures, modifying
the rules governing third-party participation in oral hearings in
appeals. The revised procedures come into effect today.
25th WTO Trade Policy Course begins
Thirty government officials attended on
28 April 2003 the opening session of the 25th WTO Trade
Policy Course, which is being held in English. The brief ceremony
was chaired by Mr. Paul Rolian, Director of the Institute for Training
and Technical Cooperation, who welcomed the participants.
DSB adopts compliance reports on EC anti-dumping duties on bed linen from India
On 24 April 2003, the Dispute Settlement
Body adopted the compliance reports by the panel and Appellate Body
on India's complaint against EC anti-dumping duties on imports of
cotton-type bed linen from India (DS141).
WTO commends economic reform in SACU countries
WTO members, in concluding their trade policy
review of members of the Southern African Customs Union (Botswana,
Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) on 25 April 2003,
commended the progress achieved in their economic reform programmes,
and noted that trade and investment liberalization had played a
key role in these programmes. They encouraged SACU countries to
move ahead in implementing structural reforms, adding that trading
partners can help by ensuring open markets and providing technical
assistance to SACU.
China, Egypt join WTO's Information Technology Agreement
China and Egypt, on 24 April 2003, joined
a WTO agreement on removing all tariff barriers to information technology
products such as personal computers and telecoms equipment.
Trade recovered in 2002, but uncertainty continues
Driven by strong demand in the United States
and the big Asian economies, merchandise trade grew by 2.5% in 2002,
up from a 1% decline in 2001, according to the latest WTO figures.
But trade growth was uneven and masked the sluggish trade performance
in many regions.
Argentina’s anti-dumping measure found to violate WTO agreement
A WTO dispute panel has concluded that Argentina
acted inconsistently with the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement on a number
of counts when it imposed anti-dumping duties on poultry from Brazil.
The panel report in case DS241 was circulated on 22 April 2003.
Canada, Chile, the EU, Guatemala, Paraguay and the US were third
parties in this case.
Cambodia moves closer to membership by Cancún
A tight schedule was agreed at the 16 April 2003
working party meeting for Cambodia’s WTO membership negotiation
to end in July. This would allow the possibility for all the formalities
to be completed by the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún,
10–14 September 2003, but a lot of work remains on completing
bilateral negotiations and the final multilateral package.
DSB adopts panel report on Argentina's import measures on peaches
On 15 April 2003, the Dispute Settlement
Body adopted the panel report on Chile's complaint against Argentina's
safeguard measures on imports of preserved peaches (DS238).
WTO and UNCTAD improve cooperation on technical assistance
The WTO and UN Conference on Trade and Development
have stepped up their strategic partnership by creating, on 16 April 2003,
a new legal framework for cooperating in technical assistance. The
aims are to ensure that trade aids development and to help developing
and least-developed countries integrate into the global economy.
Second WTO-Nairobi University joint trade policy course starts
The second regional trade policy course,
organized jointly by the World Trade Organization and Nairobi University
opened on 7 April 2003. The course will run for 12 weeks,
with 23 participants from 20 African countries taking part.
SPS Committee agrees on treatment for developing countries
The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee,
meeting 1–3 April 2003, agreed in principle on a procedure
for governments to make known the flexibility given to developing
countries when they apply new measures on food safety and animal
and plant health. It also discussed a number of other issues.
Public symposium: ‘Challenges Ahead on the Road to Cancún’
The WTO is hosting a public symposium, 16–18 June 2003,
on the challenges WTO members face ahead of Cancún Ministerial Conference
in September. Participants will come from governments, parliaments,
civil society, the business sector, academia and the media.
23rd and 24th WTO Trade Policy Courses end
Fifty-two government officials from developing
and transition economies completed the three-month 23rd and 24th
WTO Trade Policy Courses last week. During the closing ceremony,
Deputy Director-General Rufus Yerxa underlined that because the
training took place at headquarters the participants had a unique
opportunity to get acquainted first-hand with the role and the functioning
of the WTO, and develop an important network of contacts.
The Appellate Body, in a report issued on
8 April 2003, reversed a Panel's finding in the case EC
— Anti-dumping duties on imports of cotton-type bed linen from India
— Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by India (DS141/AB/RW)
by concluding that the European Communities had acted inconsistently
with paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 3 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement
in determining the volume of dumped imports for purposes of making
a determination of injury. It upheld the Panel's rulings interpreting
Articles 11 and 21.5 of the DSU and Article 17.6 of the
WTO commends Burundi's determination to pursue reform agenda
WTO members, in concluding their review of
Burundi's trade policies and practices on 4 April 2003,
commended the country's determination to pursue its reform agenda,
notwithstanding enormous difficulties. They said that the Integrated
Framework could help Burundi meet priority technical assistance
needs, and integrate trade reforms into its overall strategy for
WTO membership rises to 146
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,
on 4 April 2003, became the 146th Member of the World
Dr. Supachai underlines importance of Doha progress to global confidence
Supachai Panitchpakdi, in opening an informal meeting of the Trade
Negotiations Committee attended by many senior capital-based officials
on 2 April 2003, stressed that “at a time of growing global
economic uncertainty, progress in the Doha Round towards its timely
conclusion can make a much-needed contribution to confidence”. He
hoped that officials will take back to capitals “a renewed sense
of the necessity of political commitment and the urgency of sustaining
the momentum of the negotiations”.
Panel established to examine Canada's measures on wheat and grain
On 31 March 2003, the Dispute Settlement
Body established a panel at the request of the United States to
examine Canada's measures on wheat and grain (DS276).
Farm talks miss deadline; but ‘work must go on’, says Supachai
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi today,
31 March 2003, expressed disappointment over the failure by WTO
member governments to agree on a framework for future agriculture
trade reform but said progress in the global trade negotiations
can still be achieved provided governments continue to work towards
bridging their differences.
DDG Rana calls for movement in Doha Development negotiations
Deputy Director-General Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in a speech opening the Doha Development Agenda Advanced Training Programme for Asia-Pacific Senior Government Officials on 31 March 2003 in Beijing, said that WTO Members could not tempt failure by procrastinating, engaging in trade brinkmanship, or holding out for last minute deals.
WTO allows Brazil sanctions against Canada in aircraft dispute
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 18 March 2003,
granted Brazil authorization to apply sanctions against Canada on
the amount of US$247,797,000 following Canada's failure to comply
with a WTO ruling on its subsidy program for regional aircraft (DS222).
Agriculture negotiations: revised ‘modalities’ draft circulated
The revised first draft of the agriculture
“modalities” paper was circulated to member governments on 18 March 2003,
as the negotiations approach the 31 March deadline for establishing
“modalities” — targets (including numerical targets) for achieving
the objectives of the negotiations, as well as issues related to
Chile given until 23 December to implement agriculture dispute ruling
The WTO arbitrator, on 17 March 2003, has
decided that Chile should be given 14 months to implement the
dispute ruling in the dispute over Chile’s “Price Band System and
Safeguard Measures Relating to Certain Agricultural Products” (dispute
number 207/13). The period began on 23 October 2002, when
the Dispute Settlement Body adopted the panel and Appellate Body
reports, and expires on 23 December 2003.
Liberal trade regime credited for Canada's strong performance despite global slowdown
WTO members, at the conclusion of their review
of Canada's trade policies on 14 March 2003, said that
a liberal trade regime and sound economic policies have allowed
Canada to improve its living standards continuously, even in the
face of a global economic slowdown. However, significant policy-induced
distortions still affect a few domestic activities, not only imposing
costs on Canadians at large but also undermining Canada's otherwise
firm efforts to eliminate inefficiencies in global markets.
Goods Council agrees on chairpersons of subsidiary bodies
The Council for Trade in Goods, on 13 March
2003, agreed on a slate of chairpersons of its subsidiary bodies
for this year.
Services negotiations: negotiators agree on modalities for treatment of autonomous liberalization
The Special Session of the Council for Trade
in Services took a key step on 6 March 2003 towards fulfilling
the Doha Development Agenda by adopting modalities for the treatment
of liberalization measures taken unilaterally by WTO Members since
the previous multilateral negotiations. Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi
said “this agreement should inject new dynamism not only in the
services negotiations but also in other areas of the Doha Agenda”.
Panel report out on Brazil-EC pipe dispute
The WTO, on 7 March 2003, released the report
of a panel that had examined Brazil's complaint about European Communities'
anti-dumping duties on imports of malleable cast-iron tube or pipe
fittings from Brazil (DS219/R).
Director General Supachai welcomes WHO tobacco agreement
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi
welcomed, on 3 March 2003, a public health agreement to
control the supply and consumption of tobacco which was reached
1 March by the 171 World Health Organization member states.
WTO and International Institute for Trade and Development launch technical assistance collaboration
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and
Ambassador Manaspas Xuto, Executive Director of the International
Institute for Trade and Development, signed on 28 February 2003
a Memorandum of Understanding launching a joint technical assistance
programme to help developing and least-developed countries increase
their participation in the multilateral trade negotiations.
Agreement reached on WTO waiver for “conflict diamonds”
The WTO Council for Trade in Goods, on 26 February 2003,
agreed to recommend that the General Council grant requesting members
a waiver for trade measures taken under the Kimberley Process Certification
Scheme for Rough Diamonds. The agreed decision recognized “the extraordinary
humanitarian nature of this issue and the devastating impact of
conflicts fuelled by trade in conflict diamonds...”.
US ready to discuss reasonable period of time to implement findings in the “Byrd Amendment” case
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 26 February 2003,
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).
DDG Abbott sees broad support for trade facilitation goals
Deputy Director-General Roderick Abbott, in a brief speech at the launching of the World Trade Point Federation Online in Geneva on 19 February 2003, noted broad international support for simplifying trade transactions, especially for developing country exporters. He said there was “a reasonably good chance” that WTO members would move forward on trade facilitation at the Cancún Ministerial Conference.
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
Dr. Supachai welcomes start of WTO work on Bhutan's accession
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on
18 February 2003, welcomed the start of serious work on
the accession of Bhutan with the delivery of the country's Memorandum
on the Foreign Trade Regime to the WTO. He said that this development
signalled Bhutan's keen interest in commencing its accession process.
Arbitrator authorises Brazil to impose up to US$ 248 million in countermeasures in aircraft dispute
The WTO, on 17 February 2003, released the
Decision by the Arbitrator (WT/DS222/ARB) in the case Canada — Export
credits and loan guarantees for regional aircraft. The Arbitrator
determined that the appropriate amount of countermeasures that Brazil
could apply pursuant to Article 4.10 of the Subsidies Agreement
was US$ 248 million. Noting ongoing consultations, the
Arbitrator gave the opinion that a mutually satisfactory agreement
between the two parties addressing the issues dealt with in this
case in their broader context would be the most appropriate solution
in the dispute.
Agriculture negotiations: ‘modalities’ first draft circulated
The first draft of the agriculture “modalities”
paper was circulated to member governments on 12 February 2003,
focusing the negotiations on the search for the compromises that
are necessary for a final agreement. The “modalities” are targets
(including numerical targets) for achieving the objectives of the
negotiations, as well as issues related to rules. Due to be completed
by 31 March 2003, they will set parameters of the final
agreement to be reached by 1 January 2005.
Panel rules against Argentina in peach dispute
The WTO, on 14 February 2003, released the
report by a Panel (WT/DS238/R) that had examined Chile's complaint
about Argentina's definitive safeguard measure on imports of preserved
peaches. The Panel concluded that the Argentine measure was imposed
inconsistently with Article XIX of the GATT 1994 and certain provisions
of the Safeguards Agreement.
WTO gets high marks for accountability, transparency
The first Global Accountability Report has
given high marks to the WTO, ranking it third in access to online
information, eighth on member control and fourth overall among 18 inter-governmental
organizations, transnational corporations and international NGOs.
Marchi hails roster of 2003 WTO chairpersons
Amb. Sergio Marchi of Canada, the 2002 Chairman
of the General Council, on 10 February 2003 praised the
wisdom of WTO Member governments in their selection of chairpersons
to head the organization’s bodies in 2003. “This group of chairs
brings a good blend of experience and new energy which will be vital
in the coming year,” he said. The new General Council Chairman is
Amb. Carlos Pérez Del Castillo of Uruguay.
WTO commends El Salvador's trade regime
WTO members, at the conclusion of their review
of El Salvador's trade policies and practices on 5 February 2003,
praised the country for its generally open trade regime and its
stated conviction that trade liberalization is central to its development
strategy. They encouraged El Salvador to diversify its export base
and expressed their hope that the country's growing engagement in
preferential trade agreements would complement multilateral liberalization
WTO membership rises to 145
Armenia, on 5 February 2003, became the 145th member of the WTO, 30 days after the Secretariat received official notification of the ratification of Armenia's Protocol of Accession. The General Council approved the country's accession package last December.
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.
GC Chairman: “We cannot backload issues into Cancún”
The Chairman of the General Council, Ambassador Sergio Marchi of Canada, in an address to the Canadian American Business Council and the Coalition of Service Industries on 15 January 2003 in Washington, said that while WTO negotiators “have made some good progress... the tight timeline means we need to pick up the pace of negotiations”.
Spain to donate 75,000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Spain pledged, on 22 January 2003,
a contribution of 50,000 euros (CHF 75,000) to the Doha Development
Agenda Global Trust Fund. The contribution will finance a WTO regional
workshop on trade facilitation which is planned to take place in
Costa Rica at the end of this year.
Dr. Supachai pledges WTO help in Arab trade reform efforts
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a statement opening the Doha Development Agenda Advanced Training Programme for Arab Senior Government Officials on 19 January 2003 in Cairo, underlined his determination to effectively implement Secretariat measures to assist Arab countries and to improve their participation in the work of the WTO and in the ongoing trade negotiations.
WTO supports Maldives' push for diversified export-oriented economy
WTO members, at the conclusion of their first
review of Maldives' trade policies and practices on 17 January 2003,
commended the country for its impressive growth and expressed support
for its ambitious plans for a more diversified export-oriented economy.
New video explains the WTO through member governments’ eyes
A new WTO video, released on 17 January 2003,
opens up the WTO system in a simple and lively way — through the
eyes of representatives of Member governments, who operate the system.
The WTO, on 16 January 2003, released
an Appellate Body report (DS217/AB/R, DS234/AB/R) upholding a Panel's
finding that the US Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of
2000 is inconsistent with certain provisions of the WTO agreements
on anti-dumping and on subsidies because it is a specific action
against dumping or a subsidy. However, the Appellate Body reversed
the Panel's finding that the so-called “Byrd Amendment” is inconsistent
with other WTO provisions relating to the support required for initiating
an investigation. The Appellate Body also rejected the Panel's conclusion
that the US may be regarded as not having acted in good faith with
respect to its obligations.
Dr. Supachai urges members to give a major push to the negotiations
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech on 8 January 2003 at the Partnership Summit in Hyderabad, urged WTO members to “now give a major push to the negotiations and ensure all areas move forward together in a balanced way”. He said “we need India's constructive engagement and leadership to help guide the Doha Development Agenda towards a successful conclusion that would benefit all members”.
WTO organizes course on how to negotiate trade agreements
Twenty-three government officials from developing
countries and economies in transition participated in a two-week
course “Negotiating Trade Agreements: from Theory to Practice” that
concluded on 13 December 2002.