Dispute Settlement Body 24 and 26 November 2004

DSB authorizes suspension of concessions in the Byrd Amendment case

The Dispute Settlement Body, held on 24 and 26 November 2004, authorized seven countries to suspend concessions and other obligations in the “Byrd Amendment” case.

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This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariats 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 Bodys meetings.

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DS136 & DS162: US Anti-Dumping Act of 1916

The US informed the DSB that the US Senate passed the Miscellaneous Trade and Technical Corrections Act 2004, which contained the repeal of 1916 Anti-Dumping Act. The US added that the bill would be signed by the US President in the near future. The EC expressed some satisfaction but said this should not be understood as an end to the dispute. Japan welcomed the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill but regretted that the bill did not have any retroactive effect. Japan argued that the repealing Act would not prevent a Japanese company from paying damages amounting to US$ 30 Million imposed by the Federal District Court in the State of Iowa on May 2004.

DS176: US Section 211 Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998

The US stated that the US Administration was continuing to work with the US Congress to find the appropriate statutory measures that would resolve this dispute. The EC stressed that two bills were pending in Congress to provide effective protection of intellectual property rights and to repeal Section 211. Cuba argued that the US lack of implementation was a political manoeuvre against Cuba to take away Havana Club Holding’s legitimate rights on the trade mark Havana Club.

DS184: US Anti-dumping measures on certain hot-rolled steel products from Japan

The US said that the US Administration was working with the US Congress on the recommendations that were not addressed before November 2002. Japan pointed out that identical words have been repeated by the US on progress made regarding the implementation of the DSB rulings. Japan expressed discouragement for not having yet seen a bill which would rectify the US violation.

DS217 & DS234: US Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000

The US said that the US Administration was continuing to work with Congress to achieve further progress. The EC and Japan complained that the US had not reported any progress. Canada added that US$ 3 billion of duties had been collected in one sector alone and therefore would seek authorization to suspend the application of tariff concessions to the US. Brazil specified that US$ 1 billion had been disbursed. Chile expressed disappointment that the US did not seize its last opportunity to repeal the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000. India, Korea and Malaysia joined Chile to express their disappointment that no further progress had been made by the US.

DS160: United States Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act.

The US reported that the US administration had been consulting with the US Congress on the Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act.

The EC complained that nearly three years had passed and the US government was only at the stage of consultation with the US Congress. The EC added that the US, one of the Members that put most emphasis on the intellectual property rights, was also the one that had not implemented rulings on TRIPS matters.

DS257: United States Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada

The US informed that the US Department of Commerce would issue in the near future a determination on the basis of the collected information relevant to the DSB rulings in its countervailing duty investigation of softwood lumber products from Canada. A draft had already been circulated to the interested parties for comment.


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Recourse to suspension of concessions  

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

Seven member countries, the EC, Brazil, India, Japan, Korea, Canada and Mexico, requested authorization to suspend the application of concessions to the United States. The seven complainants argued that the United States still had not implemented the DSB recommendations after the expiry of the implementation time on 27 December 2003, and that sanctions were the only tool left to them to get the US to comply.

The level of suspension of concessions would be consistent with the Arbitrator’ decisions issued on 31 August 2004.

The United States reiterated its intention to comply with the DSB rulings and emphasised that it would not be necessary for complainants to exercise that authorization. The US also expressed its concerns regarding the Arbitrator’s decisions on a varying level of suspension on an annual basis. It worried that these annual adjustments would suggest unpredictability.

The DSB agreed to grant authorization to suspend the application to the US of tariff concessions and other obligations, as provided in the decisions of the Arbitrator, in response to the requests by the seven countries in documents WT/DS217/38; WT/DS217/39; WT/DS217/40; WT/DS217/41; WT/DS217/42; WT/DS234/31 and WT/DS234/32.


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Other business   

Concerning the Foreign Sales Corporations dispute DS108,the US informed the DSB that President Bush signed into law the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA) on 22 October 2004. The ACJA repealed the tax exclusion of the Foreign Sales Corporations Repeal and Extraterritorial Income Exclusion Act of 2000. The US concluded that it looked forward to the withdrawal of the suspension of concessions by the EC.


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Next meeting  

The next meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 17 December 2004.

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