WTO: 2007 NEWS ITEMS

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NOTE:
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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Panel established 

DS360: India — Additional and extra-additional duties on imports from the US

The DSB established a panel at the second-time request by the US (WT/DS360/5).

The US said that it believed additional and extra additional duties imposed by India are in excess of those listed in India's WTO Tariff Schedule. The US referred to a similar case involving India and the EC and proposed both cases to be merged.

India stated that both countries had constructive and fruitful consultations. They had agreed to work towards a mutually acceptable solution which India still believed was feasible. India continued to consider the US request as premature and was confident the panel would rule in its favour. India stated it would consider the appropriateness of the US proposal to merge the two cases into one and would revert on this matter separately.

The EC had no objections for the two cases to be merged.

Chile, Japan, Australia, Viet Nam and the EC reserved their third party rights.

  

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Panel request 

DS355: Brazil — Antidumping measures on imports of certain resins from Argentina

Argentina requested a panel for the first time (WT/DS355/2) to examine the anti-dumping measures taken by Brazil on imports of resins from Argentina.

Brazil blocked Argentina's request for the establishment of this panel.

Argentina stated that this issue was long-lasting and of serious concern. Argentina mentioned the attempt of both countries to find a solution since 2006 through bilateral meetings during which a number of options were considered but it was not possible to find a solution. Given the lack of progress, Argentina asked for consultations in December 2006 and both countries met in February 2007 with no result.

Argentina said it had no other option but to request a panel.

Brazil regretted Argentina's decision to request a panel. Brazil stated it was working with Argentina to resolve this matter and considered good progress had been made in consultations. Brazil believed that Argentina's decision to abandon consultations was premature and was not in a position to agree on a panel.
  

DS357: US — Subsidies and other domestic support for corn and other agricultural products

Canada requested a panel for the first time (WT/DS357/11) to examine the US agricultural subsidies which according to Canada are trade distorting and inconsistent with US WTO obligations.

The US blocked Canada's request for the establishment of this panel.

Canada mentioned that consultations held with the US in February this year did not produce a resolution of the matter. Canada estimated that the US exceeded its WTO commitment levels by billions of dollars (for the years 1999, 2000, 20001, 2002, 2004 and 2005) through its agriculture subsidy programmes and stated that the US provided export credit guarantees which were inconsistent with the Subsidies Agreement and the Agriculture Agreement.

The US did not agree to the panel and was disappointed that Canada had chosen to move forward with a request for a panel. The US noted that Canada was not pursuing its claim that the US domestic support had distorted trade in corn. The US pointed out that Canada's request listed measures that were not the subject of consultations and that some of the measures challenged by Canada had ceased to exist.

Argentina and Nicaragua supported Canada's claim and were considering to be third parties in the future.

  

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Appellate Body nominations 

The DSB agreed on the process for selecting Appellate Body members to replace four current members whose terms of office expire in December 2007 and May 2008.

The DSB established a Selection Committee composed of the Director General, the 2007 Chairs of the General Council, Goods Council, Services Council, TRIPS Council and DSB.

The DSB set a deadline of 31 August 2007 for members to nominate candidates to the Selection Committee which will, in turn, make its recommendation to the DSB by no later than 5 November 2007 to enable the DSB to take a decision at its meeting on 19 November 2007

  

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Next meeting 

The next DSB meeting will take place on 24 July 2007.

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