Dispute Settlement Body 14 January 2005

The DSB establishes compliance panel to examine US implementation of softwood lumber case — Canada's request for sanctions is referred to arbitration

At its meeting held on 14 January 2005, Canada requested that a panel examine the United States' implementation in the case “United States — Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada” (DS257) and the Dispute Settlement Body referred the matter to the original panel. Canada also requested the right to apply sanctions against the US but the US asked for arbitration on the amount of sanctions.

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This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and Media Relations Division to help public understanding about developments in WTO disputes. It is not a legal interpretation of the issues, and it is not intended as a complete account of the issues. These can be found in the reports themselves and in the minutes of the Dispute Settlement Body’s meetings.

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Request for compliance panel establishment  

DS257: US – Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada

Canada argued that the US had failed to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB since it continued to impose countervailing duties based on a presumption, rather than a demonstration, of the existence of alleged subsidies. Canada requested [see document WT/DS257/15] that the matter be examined by a compliance panel under DSU Article 21.5.

The US responded that it had fully implemented the recommendations and rulings within the agreed period of time and that it had issued a new countervailing duty determination with respect to softwood lumber from Canada prior to the expiration of the deadline. The US said that it disagreed with Canada that the new determination was not consistent with the Subsidies Agreement and GATT 1994.

The DSB agreed to refer the matter to the original panel. The EC reserved its third party rights.


Request for sanctions  back to top

DS257: US – Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada

Canada requested the authorization to suspend application to the US of its concessions or other obligations in an amount established yearly, equivalent to the level of nullification and impairment caused by improper US implementation. In a document submitted to the DSB  [WT/DS257/16], Canada indicated that its sanctions would cover trade to the amount of C$200 million.

The US said that in a note circulated on 13 January 2005 it had objected to the levels of suspension of concessions proposed by Canada and that the matter had therefore been automatically referred to arbitration.
The DSB agreed that the matter was referred to arbitration.

Following an agreement before the meeting between Canada and the US, the proceedings concerning the sanctions were suspended until the adoption of the rulings in the Article 21.5 compliance proceedings.


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Other business  

DS268: US — Sunset reviews of anti-dumping measures on oil country tubular goods from Argentina

The US announced that it intended to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in this case but that it would require a reasonable period of time to do so.

Argentina said that implementation required that the US lift immediately its measures and that it was ready to consult with the US on a reasonable period of time.

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Next meeting  

The next regular meeting of the DSB will take place on 25 January 2005.

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