WTO: 2012 NEWS ITEMS

DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

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NOTE:
This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and External 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.

The three complainants requested that a single panel be established to examine their complaints (WT/DS431/6, WT/DS432/6 and WT/DS433/6). Requesting the panel, the United States said that the export restraints at issue include export quotas, export duties, various restrictions on the right to export and administrative requirements that limit China’s exports of these materials by increasing the burden and costs for exporting.

The European Union said that export restrictions in this dispute constitute a violation of China’s WTO commitments undertaken under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) as well as commitments undertaken in China’s Accession Protocol specifically aimed at these types of restrictions. According to the EU, the export restrictions significantly distort the market and create competitive advantages in favour of China’s manufacturing industry to the detriment of foreign competition.

Japan said that China’s exports restrictions are inconsistent with China’s obligations under the WTO Agreement.

China regretted the request by the three complainants and said that its policies concerning the products at issue are aimed at protecting natural resources and achieving sustainable economic development. China said it has no intention of protecting domestic industry through means that would distort trade. The WTO members announcing they wanted to exercise third-party rights were Viet Nam, Norway, Oman, Chinese Taipei, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, India, Canada and Colombia.

On another issue, India requested for the first time the establishment of a panel to consider countervailing measures applied by the United States on certain hot-rolled carbon steel products from India. India considers that these measures are inconsistent with US obligations under several provisions of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and the GATT 1994 (WT/DS436/3). The United States rejected the claim and said that it was not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel.

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) adopted the panel report in the case concerning anti-dumping measures on certain shrimp and diamond sawblades from China. The United States said that it intends to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB. Both members informed the DSB that they have agreed that the “reasonable period of time” for compliance will be eight months (WT/DS422/R and WT/DS422/R/add.1).

The DSB also adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports in the case concerning country of origin labelling (COOL) requirements that involved Mexico and Canada against the United States (WT/DS384/AB/R, WT/DS384/R, WT/DS386/AB/R and WT/DS386/R).

On the agenda item concerning surveillance of implementation of recommendations adopted by the DSB, the United States, the European Union and Thailand made status reports on several disputes for which they have to report to the DSB (WT/DS176/11/add.116; WT/DS184/15/add.116; WT/DS160/24/add.91; WT/DS291/37/add.54; WT/DS382/10/add.7; WT/DS379/12/add.6; WT/DS371/15/add.3; WT/DS404/11/ADD.2; WT/DS397/15).

 

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The next DSB meeting will be 31 August.

 

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