WTO: 2014 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.

DS474: EU — Cost Adjustment Methodologies and Certain Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports from Russia

Russia reiterated its concerns expressed at the June 2014 meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on this dispute. Russia, for the second time, requested the DSB to establish a panel to examine this dispute. The European Union said that it was convinced that its measures were in conformity with the WTO agreements and that it was ready to defend them before the panel. The DSB established a panel. Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Indonesia, Norway, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel’s proceedings.

 

DS475: Russian Federation — Measures on the Importation of Live Pigs, Pork and Other Pig Products from the European Union

The EU reiterated its concern expressed at the 10 July 2014 DSB meeting regarding Russia’s EU-wide restriction against imports of live pigs, pork and other pig products despite the EU’s measures to contain a further spread of the African swine fever. The EU, for the second time, requested the DSB to establish a panel. Russia said that the recurring African swine fever outbreaks in the EU showed the EU’s ineffectiveness to prevent the spread of the disease. Russia believed that the issues related to this outbreak may only be effectively resolved through expert consultations and arrangements. The DSB established a panel. Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Norway, Chinese Taipei and the United States reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel’s proceedings.

 

DS412; DS426: Canada — Certain Measures Affecting the Renewable Energy Generation Sector/Canada — Measures Relating to the Feed-in Tariff Program

Japan and the EU reiterated their disappointment and surprise with Canada’s notification of full compliance in these disputes. In their view, these disputes had not yet been resolved and Canada was under obligation to provide a status report. They were concerned that Canada’s decision would undermine the confidence in the dispute settlement system which must be based on the commitment of all members to act in good faith. In that regard, Japan reserved its right to all available steps and the EU said that it would continue to inscribe this item on the DSB agenda in order to ensure an appropriate follow-up.

 

Canada said that the actions taken to ensure compliance with the DSB’s recommendations and rulings had been outlined in the status reports it submitted in these disputes and in its 5 June notification of compliance. Canada believed that it had no further obligation to submit a status report. This, in Canada’s view, was consistent with the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) and with past practice.

 

DS449: US — Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Products from China: Report of the Appellate Body and Report of the Panel

China said that it welcomed the Appellate Body’s report which corrected an erroneous panel report which, had it not been reversed by the Appellate Body, would have significantly damaged the requirements of transparency and due process set forth in Article X of the GATT 1994. In particular, China welcomed the Appellate Body’s recognition that the baseline of prior municipal law is to be determined in accordance with the standard that the Appellate Body had previously articulated in the “US-Carbon Steel” dispute. In China’s view, this was the correct approach. However, China found it unfortunate that having reversed the panel’s majority interpretations and findings, the Appellate Body was not able to complete the legal analysis. This, in China’s view, was an example of how the lack of remand authority prevents the effective resolution of disputes.

 

The US highlighted some issues of concern in the reports. In its view, when a WTO adjudicative body examines a member’s municipal law, the meaning must be that which would be given by that municipal law system using the interpretive tools of that system, not the generalised tools described by the Appellate Body without reference to the US legal system. In the US view, the difficulty with the Appellate Body’s approach was that it could lead to the negative consequence of allowing and encouraging members to bring disputed domestic law issues for resolution in the WTO rather than in another member’s domestic courts. The US welcomed the fact that no findings were made as the Appellate Body could not complete its analysis under this approach. With respect to “double remedies”, the US was disappointed with the findings and was of the view that they did not reflect a correct legal analysis of the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement. Nonetheless, the US noted that it had implemented the WTO’s recommendations in an earlier dispute relating to this issue.

 

The DSB adopted the Appellate Body’s report contained in WT/DS449/AB/R and its corrigendum (WT/DS449/AB/R/Corr.1) and the panel report contained in WT/DS449/R and Add. 1 as modified by the Appellate Body report.

 

Implementation of DSB recommendations and rulings

The United States, the EU and China made statements concerning the implementation of the recommendations and rulings of the DSB concerning different disputes. Twenty-two members took the floor to show their concern for lack of progress in implementation regarding the dispute between the United States and the EU concerning the protection of trademarks (DS176).

 

Appellate Body selection process

Under “Other Business”, the Chair made a statement regarding the Appellate Body selection process. He recalled that Uganda had decided to withdraw one of its candidates from the process. He said that the seven remaining candidates were to be interviewed by the Selection Committee on 22 and 23 July. He further recalled that on 9 and 10 September, the Selection Committee would meet with interested delegations who wished to express their views on the candidates. The Selection Committee would make a recommendation no later than 15 September so that the DSB could consider it at its meeting on 26 September.

 

Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 29 August 2014.

 

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