Regional Trade Policy Course for African Countries concludes in Rabat
The Regional Trade Policy Course for French-speaking African
countries, organized by the WTO in partnership with Mohammed V —
Souissi University in Rabat, Morocco, concluded on 10 December 2004.
The Members of the Appellate Body have elected Mr. Yasuhei Taniguchi
to serve as Chairman of the Appellate Body from 17 December 2004 to
16 December 2005, following the expiry of Mr. Georges Abi-Saab's
term as Chairman. (WT/DSB/38).
Denmark to donate a total of 1.85 million Swiss Francs to three WTO technical assistance funds
The Government of Denmark pledged, on 20 December 2004, three new
contributions totalling DKK 8.95 million (CHF 1.85 million) to the
WTO technical assistance programmes.
DSB grants Chile authorization to retaliate in Byrd Amendment case
At the same meeting, held on 17 December 2004, the Dispute
Settlement Body adopted the Appellate Body and panel reports
concerning anti-dumping measures applied by the United States on oil
country tubular goods exported from Argentina.
Germany donates 250,000 euros to WTO technical assistance
The German Government made, on 14 December 2004, a contribution of
250,000 euros for 2005 and 2006 to the Doha Development Agenda
Global Trust Fund. This donation will be used to finance Trade
Accession moves forward as members examine the terms
Viet Nam’s membership negotiations progressed further on 15 December
2004 as the working party examined the first draft of the report it
will issue at the end of the negotiation.
DDG Rana opens JITAP management meeting
Deputy Director-General Dr. Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in his opening address on 15 December 2004, urged a JITAP schedule that will maximize beneficiary countries' participation in the Doha negotiations. JITAP is the joint technical assistance programme of the WTO, UNCTAD and the ITC.
Trade Policy Review: Switzerland/Liechtenstein
Accession working parties established for Afghanistan, Iraq
The General Council, on 13 December 2004, established working
parties to examine, respectively, the membership applications of
Afghanistan and Iraq.
Dispute Settlement Body 13 December 2004
DSB agrees to extend period of appeal/adoption of the “sugar” panel
Arbitrator Mr. John Lockhart, on 13 December 2004, issued a report,
but did not need to issue an award regarding the reasonable period
of time to implement rulings and recommendations in the case United
States — Final Dumping Determination on Softwood Lumber from Canada
(WT/DS264/13). Canada and the United States reached an agreement on
the reasonable period of time during the course of the arbitral
ITC helps textiles and clothing exporters respond to opening markets
Just a few weeks before the end of the WTO's
Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, 200 exporters of apparel and textiles
goods from seven countries will meet in Mumbai for a training workshop to
help them adapt to radically changed market prospects.
DDG Rana cites China's role in trade talks
Deputy Director-General Dr. Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in a speech at the China WTO Forum in Beijing on 9 December 2004, said that “developing countries, like China, must use the Round to promote their development objectives and the July Decision of the General Council is exactly the basis to build upon”.
Dr. Supachai pays tribute to textiles body at its final meeting
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his remarks on 9 December 2004, paid tribute to the Textiles Monitoring Body for its “very solid professional track record” in the implementation of the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing. He said that termination of the ATC on 1 January 2005 “will mark an important milestone in the development of international trade relations”.
Second Specialized Course on Trade in Services opens in Geneva
The Second Specialized Course on Trade in
Services, organized by the Institute for Training and Technical
Cooperation and the Trade in Services Division of the WTO, was launched on
6 December 2004 in Geneva.
10th Anniversary — Academic Groups to host conferences commemorating establishment of WTO Appellate Body
A series of regional conferences commemorating
the 10th Anniversary of the WTO Dispute Settlement System and the
establishment of the Appellate Body will be hosted by a number of academic
institutions in 2005 and 2006.
Dr. Supachai urges China to ensure further Doha momentum
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the WTO Forum of the Sixth Shanghai International Industry Fair on 2 December 2004, called on China, as a major trading nation, to help “ensure further progressive momentum of the negotiations in 2005 that will pave the way for the final success of the Round in the near future”.
First ITU-WTO Workshop for regulators on telecom and ICT takes place in Geneva
Forty-five officials from WTO Member and Observer
governments and ITU Member States, on 1 December 2004, started a five-day
training course on the WTO obligations and commitments relating to
regulation of the Telecom and ICT (information and communications
The Netherlands pledges 900,000 euros for the Standards and Trade Development Facility
The Netherlands Government, on 29 November 2004,
donated 900,000 euros over three years to a joint fund for the
implementation of the Standards and Trade Development Facility in the
sanitary and phytosanitary area.
DSB authorizes suspension of concessions in the Byrd Amendment case
The Dispute Settlement Body, at a meeting held on
24 and 26 November 2004, authorized seven countries to suspend concessions
and other obligations in the “Byrd Amendment” case.
The Appellate Body, on 29 November 2004, issued its report on the
complaint of Argentina against “United States — Sunset Reviews of
Anti-Dumping Measures on Oil Country Tubular Goods from Argentina”
Trade Policy Review: Brazil
Report out on cigarette dispute
The WTO, on 26 November 2004, issued the report
of a panel that had examined a complaint by Honduras against Dominican
Republic — Measures Affecting the Importation and Internal Sale of
Sub-committee set up on cotton
WTO members on 19 November 2004 set up a body to
focus on cotton as a specific issue in the agriculture talks, as required
in the 1 August 2004 decision — sometimes called the “July Package” —
covering all the WTO negotiations.
WTO launches negotiations on trade facilitation
At the first meeting of the Negotiating Group on
Trade Facilitation held on 15 November 2004, Members agreed on a Work Plan
and a schedule of meetings.
Tenth Specialized Course on WTO Dispute Settlement starts in Geneva
Twenty-nine government officials from WTO Member and Observer
countries, on 15 November 2004, started a five-day immersion into
the rules and procedures governing the WTO Dispute Settlement
WTO issues panel report on gambling dispute
The WTO, on 10 November 2004, issued the report
of a panel that had examined Antigua and Barbuda's complaint against
United States — Measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling
and betting services (DS285).
On 4 November 2004, Mr. John Lockhart accepted the appointment by Canada and the United States as arbitrator to determine the reasonable period of time to implement DSB recommendations and rulings in the case “United States — Final Dumping Determination on Softwood Lumber from Canada”.
Transition period extended for export subsidies of developing countries
The WTO Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing
Measures, on 4 November 2004, extended by another year (until end 2005)
the transition period for the elimination of export subsidy programmes of
19 developing countries under the implementation decision adopted at the
Doha Ministerial Conference.
Final OK for SPS special treatment decision
Developing countries’ ability to respond to
importing countries’ sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures has been
enhanced by a decision approved by WTO members, meeting as the SPS
Committee on 27–28 October 2004.
The Netherlands donates CHF 300,000 to WTO technical assistance
The Netherlands Government pledged, on 2 November
2004, a contribution of 300,000 Swiss Francs to the Doha Development
Agenda Global Trust Fund.
WTO holds first national workshop for journalists
The WTO Secretariat, on 25-26 October 2004,
conducted its first national workshop for journalists in Windhoek upon the
request of Namibia's Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Laos: WTO membership will ‘accelerate economic reform’
The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) kicked
off its membership negotiations on 28 October 2004 by outlining the
reforms it has already undertaken and calling on members to take account
of its status as a land-locked, least-developed country without a
representative in Geneva.
WTO Secretariat reports significant decline in new final anti-dumping measures
The WTO Secretariat reported on 1 November 2004
that the European Communities, India and the United States imposed the
most new final anti-dumping measures during the first semester of 2004
while exports from China were once more the subject of the largest number
of new final measures.
European Communities Trade Policy Review
Ninth Geneva Week to be held 1-5 November 2004
Briefing sessions for WTO Members and Observers
without representation in Geneva will be held at the WTO from 1 to
5 November 2004.
2004 trade growth to exceed 2003 despite higher oil prices
Despite the sharp rise in oil prices the volume
of world trade is likely to grow by 8.5% in real terms by the end of 2004,
a significant improvement over 2003, according to the WTO’s
International Trade Statistics
available on the this website from today (25 October 2004). “Strong demand
is behind rising prices for oil and other commodities and markets appear
to be handling this well,” said Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi.
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, at the
General Council meeting on Coherence in Global Economic Policy-making on
22 October 2004, thanked IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato and World
Bank President James D. Wolfensohn for actively supporting the Doha
negotiations. “Cooperation among the three major economic institutions has
never been more critical,” he said.
US appeals panel report on cotton
At the DSB meeting on 18 October 2004, the
Chairperson announced that the United States had notified the DSB of its
decision to appeal the panel report on Brazil's complaint against United
States — Subsidies on upland cotton (WT/DS267/R).
Business and government leaders to discuss Doha talks
The International Trade Centre UNCTAD/WTO
is organizing a meeting of senior-level delegations — representing both
public and private sectors from Asia and the Middle East — on 21-22
October 2004 in Manila to see how they can work together to ensure the
Doha talks produce a boost for their nations. WTO Deputy Director-General
Rufus Yerxa will address the meeting on recent advances in the
Panel issues reports on sugar dispute
The WTO, on 15 October 2004, issued the reports
of a panel that had examined complaints by Australia, Brazil and Thailand,
respectively, against European Communities' export subsidies on sugar.
WTO commends Norway on its liberal trade regime
Members, in concluding their fourth trade policy
review of Norway on 13 October, commended the country on its very liberal
trade regime for non-agricultural products and on its advanced
implementation of the textiles agreement. However, divergent views were
expressed on its agricultural policy.
Cambodia raises WTO membership to 148
Cambodia became the WTO’s 148th member on
13 October 2004, almost 10 years after it first applied and just over a
year after its membership package was approved at the Cancún Ministerial
WTO opens specialized course on trade negotiations
The director of the WTO Institute for Training and
Technical Co-operation, Mr. Paul Rolian, on 11 October 2004, opened the
3rd Specialized Course on Trade Negotiations in which 24 government
officials from developing countries, least-developed countries and
economies in transition will have the opportunity to strengthen their
negotiating skills and knowledge.
Working Procedures for Appellate Review to be amended
The Chairman of the Appellate Body, on 7 October 2004, sent a letter to the DSB Chair setting out additional amendments to the Working Procedures, which will enter into effect for appeals initiated after 1 January 2005. Among other things, these amendments will modify the required content of a Notice of Appeal, allow for a Notice of Other Appeal, and alter certain dates in the timetable for appeals.
Goods Council starts final review of textiles accord.
The WTO Council for Trade in Goods, on 1 October
2004, started its third and final review of the implementation of the
Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, under which all remaining quota
arrangements in the sector would be removed on 1 January 2005.
Dr. Supachai: “we are back on track and moving forward”
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on 4 October 2004, said that the July Decision on the Doha negotiations has “shown the scale of the potential gains and has provided a roadmap to their realization”. He underlined the important role of parliamentarians in the WTO.
WTO launches trade policy course for African countries in Rabat
Twenty-six officials from 23 African countries
participated in the launching, on 20 September 2004, of a regional trade
policy course organized by the WTO in co-operation with the University of
Mohammed V – Souissi in Rabat, Morocco.
China’s regime discussed as others’ notifications stay ‘disappointing’
China’s import licensing regime in general and the
affect on specific goods such as Japanese vehicles were among the topics
discussed in the Import Licensing Committee on 30 September, which also
approved its latest annual report and biennial review report.
WTO commends Rwanda's reform efforts
Members, in concluding their trade policy review
of Rwanda on 30 September 2004, lauded the country's macroeconomic reform
efforts, which have resulted in economic growth since the 1994 genocide.
The Chairperson urged members to support Rwanda's reconstruction and to be
attentive to its requests for technical assistance.
The DSB establishes two panels and adopts findings in the Canada wheat case
At its meeting on 27 September 2004, the DSB
established a compliance panel to review US implementation in the steel
countervailing duties case (DS212), and a panel to examine Korea's
anti-dumping duties on paper imports from Indonesia (DS312). The DSB also
adopted the findings in the Canada wheat case (DS276).
30th WTO Trade Policy Course begins
Government officials from 19 countries — mainly in
Latin America and the Caribbean — attended the opening session of the 30th
WTO Trade Policy Course on 20 September 2004.
A WTO arbitrator, on 20 September 2004, issued an award on the reasonable
period of time for the implementation of recommendations and rulings of
the DSB regarding India's complaint against “European Communities —
Conditions for the Granting of Tariff Preferences to Developing Countries”
WTO commends Korea's economic performance and reforms
WTO members, in concluding their fourth review of Korea's trade policies
on 17 September 2004, noted the country's impressive economic performance,
underpinned by on-going trade liberalization. They encouraged Korea to
continue its market-oriented reforms.
Impact of Domestic Policies on Trade the Focus of 2004 WTR
Benefits from good trade policy may be attenuated or even undermined if
governments pursue deficient policies in other areas of economic activity,
according to the 2004 World Trade Report published today (16 September
2004) by the WTO Secretariat.
DSB adopts reports on softwood lumber dispute
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 31 August 2004,
adopted the Appellate Body and Panel reports on Canada's complaint
concerning the United States' final duty determination on certain softwood
lumber from Canada (WT/DS264).
Panel report out on cotton dispute
The WTO, on 8 September 2004, issued the report of the panel that had examined Brazil's complaint against United States — Subsidies on upland cotton (WT/DS267/R).
> Download the panel report:
WTO Asia-Pacific Regional Trade Policy Course concludes
The WTO Asia-Pacific Regional Trade Policy Course
organized in partnership with the University of Hong Kong concluded on
27 August 2004 in Hong Kong, China.
Arbitrator issues awards on “Byrd Amendment”
The WTO, on 31 August 2004, issued
decisions by the arbitrator regarding the level of suspension of
concessions and other obligations that Brazil, Canada, Chile, the European
Communities, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, may request to apply,
respectively, in the case “United States — Continued Dumping and Subsidy
Offset Act of 2000”.
The Appellate Body, on 30 August 2004, issued
its report on the United States' complaint against “Canada — Measures
Relating to Exports of Wheat and Treatment of Imported Grain”
The sixth introduction course on the WTO for the least-developed countries (LDCs), organized by the Institute for Training and Technical Co-operation of the WTO, concluded on 30 July 2004 in Geneva.
Appellate Body, on 11 August 2004, issued its report on Canada's
complaint against “United States — Final Dumping Determination on
Softwood Lumber from Canada” (WT/DS264/AB/R).
Supachai consults on possible emergency meeting for textiles and clothing adjustment challenges
Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi held informal consultations
on 3 August 2004 with a range of WTO Members on the request from
Minister J K Cuttaree of Mauritius for an emergency meeting of the WTO
Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) to examine the adjustment costs
related to the quota abolition due to come into effect on 1 January
2005 under the WTO’s Agreement on Textiles and Clothing (ATC).
On 4 August 2004, pursuant to the request by
India of 26 July 2004, the Director-General appointed Mr. John
Lockhart to act as arbitrator under Article 21.3(c) of the
Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of
Disputes in the matter “European Communities — Conditions for the
Granting of Tariff Preferences to Developing Countries”.
The DSB establishes compliance panel to examine Japan's measures concerning apples and refers US request for sanctions to arbitration
At the DSB meeting on 30 July 2004, the US
requested the establishment of a compliance panel to examine the
WTO-consistency of the newly revised phytosanitary measures.
Simultaneously, the US requested the authorization to suspend
Round-the-clock meetings produce ‘historic’ breakthrough
The WTO’s 147 member governments
approved on 31 July 2004 a package of
framework and other agreements, which Director-General Supachai
Panitchpakdi said will greatly enhance members’ chances for successfully
completing the important Doha negotiations.
Members comment on new draft as chair warns of overload
delegations described the
Supachai welcomes input from the Five as a key first step
Agreement among five key members
on the agriculture text is a welcome and important input into the talks,
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi said on 29 July 2004. But he
cautioned that no WTO agriculture framework deal is possible without
support from the rest of the membership.
Chairs report progress as hours tick by
Consultations on the key issues in
the “July package” are progressing gradually and a realistic estimate of
when a revised draft text will be circulated is “very, very late” this
evening, or early the following day, WTO members heard today, 28 July 2004.
Libya given green light to negotiate WTO membership
WTO members agreed on 27 July 2004 to start talks
with Libya on its membership bid, bringing the current number of applicant
countries to 25.
Brief report on on-going work, with revised text planned by Wednesday
Council chairperson Shotaro Oshima and Director-General Supachai
Panitchpakdi reported briefly on work in key issues when heads of
delegations met informally on Friday 23 July 2004.
First draft discussed as chairs warn of 30 July ‘drop dead’ deadline
members broadly welcomed the first draft of a package of “framework”
agreements when they met on 19–20 July, although they had reservations —
sometimes serious — about some parts of the text. However, General Council
chairperson Shotaro Oshima warned that agreement would have to be reached
by the “drop-dead” deadline of Friday 30 July, and WTO Director-General
Supachai Panitchpakdi urged delegations not to make too many changes at
this stage, but to leave other concerns for the next phase of
DSB considers the United States’ reports on implementing four dispute rulings
The Dispute Settlement Body considered, on 20 July 2004, status
reports from the United States on progress in the implementation of
recommendations or rulings that the body has adopted.
Supachai urges members to reach agreement as talks start on first draft Doha Agenda text
Supachai Panitchpakdi called on WTO member governments on 19 July 2004 to
make every effort over the next two weeks to strike a deal on a framework
accord in the Doha Development Agenda which would pave the way for the
elimination of all forms of farm export subsidies, enhanced trading
opportunities for all countries and more equitable rules for global trade.
Panel report out on Argentina-US anti-dumping dispute
The WTO, on 16 July 2004, released the report of
the panel that had examined the dispute over “United States — Sunset
reviews of anti-dumping measures on oil country tubular goods from
29th Trade Policy Course for officials ends
Twenty-five officials from developing countries and transition
economies completed the 29th WTO Trade Policy Course on 16 July
2004. This 3-month course was in French; the next, starting in
September, will be in Spanish.
Belize and Suriname praised for liberalization but urged to notify more
Belize and Suriname have been praised for their
autonomous and regional liberalization and other reforms. But in their
first trade policy review on 12 and 14 July 2004, WTO members also urged
the two CARICOM countries to fulfil their outstanding WTO notification
obligations, if necessary with the aid of the WTO Secretariat.
Supachai Urges G-90 Ministers, All Ministers To Show Flexibility
Supachai Panitchpakdi urged Trade Ministers from the G-90 group of
developing countries to adopt realistic and constructive negotiating
proposals when they meet on 12 July 2004 in Mauritius and warned that all
147 WTO Members stand to lose a great deal should WTO Member governments
fail to agree on a framework agreement later this month in the Doha
Development Agenda round of global trade talks.
Spain donates 192,000 euros to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Spain, on 7 July 2004, pledged a
contribution of 192,000 euros (CHF 290,000) to the WTO technical
DSB establishes panel on Mexican tax measures on soft drinks and other beverages
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 6 July 2004,
established a panel to examine the Mexican tax measures on soft drinks and
other beverages (DS308).
Dr. Supachai: Ministerial support must be translated into Geneva progress
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his opening remarks to the Trade Negotiations Committee meeting on 30 June 2004, said that the many Ministers he had met since the last meeting have given strong political commitment to the success of the negotiations. “The onus is now fairly and squarely on negotiators in Geneva to do the deals that our political leaders clearly want us to achieve,” he said.
Members encourage Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali to move ahead with reforms
WTO members, at the conclusion of the trade
policy reviews of Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali on 30 June 2004, emphasized
trade as a tool for development and encouraged the three African countries
to pursue the implementation of their reform programmes.
WTO Secretariat publishes its first dispute-settlement guide
The WTO Secretariat, on 29 June 2004, published A Handbook on the WTO Dispute Settlement System. “The primary purpose of this training guide is to explain the WTO dispute settlement system to an interested person with little or no knowledge of how this system functions,” according to WTO Legal Affairs Director, Mr. Bruce Wilson, in his preface.
WTO to hold IT symposium in October
The ITA Committee, on 28 June 2004, agreed to hold
the WTO Information Technology Symposium on 18-19 October 2004 in Geneva.
DSB considers panel requests by the United States and Canada
The DSB, on 22 June 2004, considered for the
first time two requests for panels: by the United States to examine
Mexican tax measures on soft drinks and other beverages, and by Canada on
US injury determination concerning hard red spring wheat from Canada. The
two requests were blocked by the respondents.
Fifth introduction course on WTO for LDCs concludes in Geneva
The Fifth introduction course on WTO for the
least-developed countries, organized by the Institute for Training and
Technical Co-operation of the WTO, concluded on 11 June 2004 in Geneva.
Singapore commended as “exemplary” member
WTO members, in concluding their trade policy
review of Singapore on 16 June 2004, said the openness of its economy has
helped it weather recent economic shocks. They commended Singapore's
continuing reforms aimed at promoting an economy that is “globalized,
entrepreneurial and diversified”.
Members praise Viet Nam’s new offers, but seek improvements and more clarification
The 63 WTO members negotiating a membership
package with Viet Nam praised the Southeast Asian country on 15 June 2004
for considerably improving its market access offers for goods and
services, and its programme for applying WTO agreements.
Dr. Supachai calls on UNCTAD XI to deliver clear message in support of the Doha Round
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech to UNCTAD XI in São Paulo, Brazil on 14 June 2004, stressed that “if we want trade to work as an engine for growth and development, it is indispensable that we succeed in the Doha Round”. He added that the negotiations are at “a crossroads, and common ground must be found quickly”.
WTO launches first Asia-Pacific trade course in Hong Kong, China
The WTO, in partnership with the University of
Hong Kong, officially launched its first Regional Trade Policy Course for
Asia-Pacific on 9 June 2004 in Hong Kong, China.
Supachai calls for constructive outcome from UNCTAD meeting
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on
11 June 2004, called on members of the XI meeting of United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development to use their upcoming meeting in Sao
Paolo as a catalyst for progress in the Doha Development Agenda round of
global trade negotiations.
Report detects shifts in services and agricultural trade patterns
International trade patterns have changed in two
significant areas over the past two decades with growth in services trade
no longer clearly outstripping growth in goods, while agricultural trade
has shifted away from commodities towards processed products, according to
a WTO report released on 11 June 2004.
Ten Years After Marrakesh: the WTO and Developing Countries
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech to a conference hosted by the Moroccan authorities to mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of Marrakesh Agreement establishing the WTO said “we should be immensely proud of the achievements of the last decade. The trading system has shown its resilience in the face of financial turbulence and it has contained and resolved over 300 trade disputes between its Members, providing for greater stability and predictability in global commercial exchanges”.
ITA membership expands with enlarged EC
The European Communities announced, at the meeting
of the WTO Information Technology Agreement Committee on 4 June 2004, that
its commitment on zero tariffs for ITA products extends to the enlarged EC
membership, including Hungary and Malta, which were not previously
participants to the ITA.
Supachai commends negotiators, urges more progress
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 4 June
2004, commended negotiators for their success in narrowing differences in
critical agriculture negotiations during the week, but urged them to make
every effort to build on this progress and cautioned that time is rapidly
running out to achieve a framework agreement in farm trade by the end of
DSB adopts panel report on US-Mexico telecoms dispute
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 1 June 2004,
adopted the panel report on “Mexico — Measures Affecting
Telecommunications Services” (DS204).
Africa stands to gain from successful trade negotiations — Dr. Supachai
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a
speech during the opening of the
Conference of the African Union Ministers of Trade on 27 May 2004 in
Kigali, Rwanda, said that the meeting will be “pivotal” in
determining whether the trade negotiations “will take a substantial step
forward by the end of July”. He stressed that “no one questions” that
development concerns must be reflected in the July package.
WTO publishes its 2004 annual report
Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his foreword to the WTO Annual Report 2004 issued on 26 May 2004, said that this and the organization's three other annual publications are “part of the WTO's continuing efforts to work in a manner which is transparent, informative and in tune with the expectations of the public around the world”.
Dr. Supachai opens WTO public symposium
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his
opening statement on 25 May 2004 at
the WTO public symposium “Multilateralism at a Crossroads”, said that
trade negotiators are facing a “historic window of opportunity” and urged
civil society to add their voice in WTO's work to “further improve and
reform the multilateral system”.
Fifth introduction course on the WTO for LDCs opens in Geneva
The 5th Introduction Course on the WTO for Least
Developed Countries, organized by the Institute for Training and Technical
Cooperation of the WTO, opened on 24 May 2004 and will end on
11 June 2004.
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, at the
General Council meeting on 17-18 May 2004, urged trade negotiators “to
show the world that Geneva is capable of delivering significant results”.
He also assured close WTO co-operation in the IMF's new policy for
The United States pledges US$ 994,100 to WTO technical assistance
The United States Government, on 14 May 2004, pledged a contribution
of US$ 994,100 (CHF 1.3 million) to the Doha Development Agenda Global
Trust Fund for 2004.
WTO launches training courses over the Internet
The WTO is introducing online courses for governments officials from
developing countries with the inaugural course “Introduction to the
WTO and its Basic Principles” starting on 21 June 2004.
31 import licensing notifications reviewed amid concern that not enough received
The WTO Import Licensing Committee on 5 May 2004 reviewed
31 notifications submitted under various provisions of the agreement,
a situation some members described as an improvement but still
The WTO Appellate Body, on 7 May 2004, issued its Annual Report for 2003 (Word format, 43 pages, 698KB) containing information about changes in the composition of the Appellate Body, appeals filed, Reports circulated, participation of WTO members in appeals, amendments to the Working Procedures, technical assistance and other developments that took place last year. The Annual Report was accompanied by a Communication from the AB Chairman to the DSB Chair (Word format, 1 page, 41KB).
WTO Agreement extended to the 10 new member States of the European Union
Government Procurement Agreement was extended on 1 May 2004 to
cover the 10 new member States of the European Union: the Czech
Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta,
Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia.
Dr. Supachai underlines importance of Doha progress for LDCs
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his address to the Third LDC Trade Ministers’ Meeting in Dakar, Senegal on 4 May 2004, stressed that “now is the time for all WTO members to show realism, flexibility and a determination to make progress” in the negotiations. He warned that “a loss of momentum will have a direct impact on the areas in which LDCs have a key interest”.
GC Chairman urges “tangible outcome” in July
General Council Chairman Amb. Shotaro Oshima, during an informal meeting
of Heads of Delegation on 29 April 2004, urged members to deliver concrete
results by July to “ensure the continued progress in the negotiations”.
Goods Council agrees on chairpersons of subsidiary bodies
The Council for Trade in Goods, on 27 April 2004,
agreed on a slate of chairpersons of its subsidiary bodies for this year.
Eighth Geneva Week to be held 10-14 May
Briefing sessions for WTO Members and Observers
without representation in Geneva will be held at the WTO from 10 to
14 May 2004.
Dr. Supachai lauds IMF's new policy
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a statement before the International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington on 24 April 2004, cited the IMF's Trade Integration Mechanism for developing countries as “a welcome contribution to the Doha Round, in particular to attaining ambitious market access results”.
Korea contributes US$ 200,000 to WTO technical assistance
The Government of the Republic of Korea, on 27
April 2004, made a contribution of US$ 200,000 (CHF 250 000) to the Doha
Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Three months of WTO training for 25 developing-country officials
Deputy Director-General Roderick Abbott, on 26 April
2004, launched the 29th WTO Trade Policy Course organized by the Institute
for Training and Technical Cooperation.
WTO Caribbean Trade Policy Course concludes
Thirty-one government officials from 17
countries/territories attended on 22 April 2004 the closing ceremony
marking the conclusion of the Caribbean Regional Trade Policy Course,
organized by the WTO Secretariat in partnership with the University of
the West Indies.
DSB adopts panel report on US investigation in softwood lumber from Canada
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 26 April 2004,
adopted the panel report on “United States — Investigation of the
International Trade Commission in softwood lumber from Canada” (DS277).
WTO membership rises to 147
Kingdom of Nepal, on 23 April 2004, became the 147th member of the World
Appellate Body Chairman notes with sadness the passing of Dr. Said El-Naggar
The Chairman of the Appellate Body, Mr. Georges
Abi-Saab, has noted with great sadness the passing on 11 April 2004 of Dr.
Said El-Naggar, who was one of the original seven members of the Appellate
Dr. Supachai: “We must redouble our efforts”
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his
remarks on 21 April 2004 as chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee,
warned negotiators that “the coming days and weeks are critical”. He said
Ministers “are more determined than ever to succeed,” and that “the onus
is clearly on the negotiators in Geneva to turn this political will into
DSB adopts reports on EC's GSP scheme
At its meeting on 20 April 2004, the Dispute
Settlement Body adopted the Appellate Body and panel reports on India's
complaint concerning the EC's GSP scheme (DS246).
WTO Secretariat reports significant decline in new anti-dumping investigations
The WTO Secretariat reported, on 20 April 2004,
that in the period 1 July-31 December 2003, 14 Members initiated 115
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.
Third Regional Trade Policy Course in Nairobi starts
Twenty-four government officials from 22 African
countries attended on 14 April 2004 the opening ceremony for the Third
Regional Trade Policy Course, organized by the WTO Secretariat in
partnership with the University of Nairobi.
Amendments proposed to the Working Procedures for Appellate Review
The Chairman of the Appellate Body, on 8 April
2004, sent a letter to the Chairperson of the Dispute Settlement Body
requesting comments from Members on a number of possible amendments to the
Working Procedures for Appellate Review.
Panel report out on Canada-US softwood lumber dispute
The WTO, on 13 April 2004, issued the report of
the panel that had examined Canada's complaint regarding “United States —
Final dumping determination on softwood lumber from Canada” (DS/264/R).
The Appellate Body, on 7 April 2004, issued its
report on India's complaint against the EC in “European Communities —
Conditions for the Granting of Tariff Preferences to Developing
Panel reports out on US-Canada wheat dispute
The WTO issued, on 6 April 2004, the reports of a panel that had examined a United States’ complaint against “Canada — Measures relating to exports of wheat and treatment of imported grain” (WT/DS276/R).
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Stronger than expected growth spurs modest trade recovery
Propelled by higher than expected economic growth in Asia and the United States, world trade recovered at an increased rate in 2003, and could expand further in 2004 should the global economy continue to improve, according to the WTO’s latest figures, released today (5 April 2004).
WTO issues panel report on US-Mexico telecom dispute
The WTO, on 2 April 2004, issued the report of
the panel that had examined the United States’ complaint regarding “Mexico
— Measures affecting telecommunications services” (WT/DS204/R).
Officials from 56 developing countries complete WTO courses
Participants from 56 countries, on 2 April 2004,
attended the closing ceremony of the 27th and 28th WTO Trade Policy
Dr. Supachai opens WTO African workshop on cotton
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his
opening remarks to the WTO African
regional workshop on cotton in Cotonou, Benin, on 23 March 2004,
underlined the importance of establishing a constructive partnership
between the trade and development communities.
Panel report issued on Canada-US lumber dispute
The WTO, on 22 March 2004, issued the report of
the Panel on the case United States — Investigation of the International
Trade Commission in Softwood Lumber from Canada (WT/DS277/R).
DSB establishes two panels
Dispute Settlement Body establishes panels to
examine US' methodology for calculating dumping margins (DS294), and EC's
shipbuilding subsidies (DS301). The DSB elects Ambassador Amina Mohamed of
Kenya as its Chairperson.
Norway donates 10 million Norwegian Kroner to WTO technical assistance
The Government of Norway, on 15 March 2004, made a
contribution of 10 million Norwegian Kroner (1.8 million Swiss Francs) to
the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Dr. Supachai says small countries too have a responsibility to strengthen the trading system
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech during Mauritius' National Day celebration in Port Louis on 11 March 2004, stressed that “only multilateral negotiations can ensure that poor and vulnerable countries are not left out in the cold”. He said Mauritius' economic miracle has shown the world that a small developing country “can compete and compete very effectively”.
Members express support for Sri Lanka's reform and peace efforts
WTO members, in concluding their trade policy
review of Sri Lanka on 5 March 2004, encouraged the authorities to
continue trade reforms, which they said along with lasting peace would be
essential for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction.
Dr. Supachai says US must lead in Doha talks
WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington on 26 February 2004, warned that the alternative to the Doha Round is “a fragmented world, with greater conflict and uncertainty”. He stressed that US leadership is “indispensable” to the world trading system and the success of the negotiations.
WTO hosts its annual public symposium: “Multilateralism at a crossroads”
The WTO will host its annual public symposium from
25 to 27 May. Participants from governments, parliaments, civil society,
the business sector, academia and the media are invited to debate the
stakes and challenges ahead in the most crucial and final phase of the
Doha Round of negotiations.
Arbitrator issues award in US — 1916 Anti-Dumping Act
An arbitrator, in a decision (WT/DS136/ARB)
issued by the WTO on 24 February 2004, concluded that the European
Communities may suspend trade obligations against the United States,
subject to certain specified limits, after the failure of the latter to
bring its Anti-Dumping Act of 1916 into conformity with the WTO.
DSB adopts reports on softwood lumber dispute
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 17 February 2004,
adopted the Appellate Body and panel reports on Canada's complaint
concerning the United States' final countervailing duty determination on
certain softwood lumber from Canada.
WTO chairpersons for 2004
The General Council, on 11 February 2004, noted
the consensus on the slate of names of chairpersons for WTO bodies and
elected Amb. Shotaro Oshima of Japan as its new Chairman.
WTO members extend Cambodia’s ratification deadline
The General Council today (11 February) agreed to
give Cambodia another six months to ratify its membership agreement and
join the WTO. The decision extends the deadline from 31 March to 30
Members welcome unilateral reforms by The Gambia
WTO members, in concluding their trade policy
review of The Gambia on 6 February 2004, noted that economic
liberalization has contributed to The Gambia's high growth rate since the
late 1990s. They encouraged the country to consolidate reforms aimed at
promoting investment and diversifying exports.
Luxembourg contributes 115,000 Swiss Francs to WTO Technical Assistance
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, on 19 January
2004, made a contribution of 75,000 euros (CHF 115,000) to the Doha
Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
DSB establishes two panels to examine US and EC measures on Korean semiconductors
At its meeting on 23 January 2004, the Dispute
Settlement Body established two panels to examine Korea's separate
complaints against the United States (DS296) and the European
Communities (DS299) concerning, respectively, countervailing duty
investigation and countervailing measures on Korean semiconductors.
Requests for sanctions sent to arbitration in Byrd Amendment case
At the Dispute Settlement Body meeting of 26
January 2004, requests for suspension of concessions to the United States
from eight countries in the case “United States — Continued dumping and
subsidy offset act of 2000” (DS217 & DS234) — also known as the “Byrd
Amendment” case — were referred to arbitration following the US' objection
on the level of these sanctions.
27th and 28th WTO Trade Policy Courses begin
Government officials from 56 countries attended on
12 January 2004 the joint opening session of the 27th and 28th WTO Trade
Dr. Kipkorir Aly Rana, Deputy Director-General of the WTO chaired the
brief opening ceremony.
Dr. Supachai says Saudi accession an “imminent reality”
Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the Jeddah Economic Forum on 19 January 2004, said that there is a “realistic chance” that Saudi Arabia will accede to the WTO before the end of this year. Earlier, in an address in Dhaka, Bangladesh to the International Chamber of Commerce, he urged the business community to give active support to the Doha Development Agenda.
The WTO Appellate Body, on 19 January 2004,
issued its report on the case “United States — Final Countervailing Duty
Determination with Respect to Certain Softwood Lumber from Canada”. It
upheld the panel's finding that the US did not violate trade rules in
determining that a financial contribution was being provided to Canadian softwood lumber
producers but did not agree with the panel's interpretation of “benefit”
under the Subsidies Agreement.
Policy review praises US leadership but queries compliance and regional deals
WTO members have praised the open US economy’s
role as an engine of world growth and the US leadership in WTO work. But
in the latest review of US trade policy on 14 and 16 January 2004, they
also expressed concern about the country’s twin deficits, its uneven
record of compliance with WTO rulings, and some aspects of its involvement
in regional trade agreements.
DSB establishes panel on cigarettes and adopts reports on US sunset review
The Dispute Settlement Body, on 9 January 2004,
established a panel to examine the Dominican Republic's cigarette
importation and internal sale measures. It also adopted the panel and
Appellate Body reports on the United States' sunset review of anti-dumping
duties on carbon steel products from Japan.