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.

DS469: EU — Measures on Atlanto-scandian herrings

The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) agreed to establish a panel at the request of Denmark, in respect of the Faroe Islands, to study the measures imposed by the European Union against the Faroe Islands, a self-governing territory forming an integral part of Denmark and covered territorially by Danish WTO membership. In Denmark's view, the measures are inconsistent with basic provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and have no justification under WTO law. WTO members reserving third-party rights were Turkey, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, China, United States, Japan, Australia, Chinese Taipei, New Zealand, Iceland, Russia and India.

 

DS414: China — Countervailing and anti-dumping duties on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel from the United States

At the request of the United States, the DSB established a compliance panel under Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) to study China's compliance in this dispute. Members reserving third-party rights were Japan, the European Union, Russia and India.

 

DS468: Ukraine — Definitive safeguard measures on certain passenger cars

The first-time request made by Japan for the establishment of a panel was rejected by Ukraine and the issue was referred to the next DSB meeting. Japan said that the measures were “illegitimate” and inconsistent with several provisions of the GATT 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards. Ukraine said that the decision to impose the safeguards was the result of a thorough and objective investigation that concluded that the domestic car industry in Ukraine was under threat of suffering serious injury as a result of the significant increase in imports of cars.

 

DS471: United States — Certain methodologies and their application to anti-dumping proceedings involving China

The DSB agreed to revert to this matter since the United States did not accept China's request for the establishment of a panel at this meeting. China said that the measures taken by the United States reflected acts or omissions of the United States that, in China's view, failed to comply with provisions of the GATT 1994 and the Anti-dumping Agreement. The United States said that the measures in the request, to the extent they have been properly identified, are fully consistent with US obligations under the WTO Agreement.

 

DS413: China — Certain measures affecting electronic payment services

The United States reiterated its serious concerns over China's “lack of implementation” of the DSB's recommendations and rulings in this dispute, with the result of a ban on foreign electronic payment services (EPS) suppliers. China insisted that it had fully complied with the DSB's recommendations and rulings, and that actions sought by the United States were beyond the scope of China's compliance obligations.

 

DS285: United States — Measures affecting the cross border supply of gambling and betting services

Dominica, on behalf of Antigua and Barbuda, accused the United States of not making efforts to settle this dispute. The statement informed the DSB that Antigua and Barbuda continued to make progress on the implementation of the suspension of concessions and other obligations that the country might impose on the United States under the Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement. The United States said it remained committed to a solution and it was waiting for a reply from Antigua and Barbuda to some US proposals.

 

Status reports

Several WTO members (United States, European Union, Thailand, Canada and China) submitted status reports on their implementation of the recommendations and rulings adopted by the DSB. Several members expressed concern about the lack of settlement in the dispute between the United States and the European Union over Section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 in the United States, which affects the brand Havana Club. Cuba said that this month is the 12th anniversary of the DSB adoption of the report of the Appellate Body that recommended the United States bring the trade measure affecting Cuba into conformity with WTO law.

 

Appellate Body

The Chair of the DSB updated WTO members on the process for replacing the Appellate Body member David Unterhalter (South Africa) who ended his second four-year term in December last year. The DSB took note of the communication by the Selection Committee informing WTO members that the Committee was unable to recommend a candidate for the vacant position on the Appellate Body. The Committee recommended that the DSB commence as soon as practicable a new selection process, to be carried out by the Director-General and the 2014 chairs. Several members showed disappointment because of the lack of consensus in selecting a candidate, and the majority of those that spoke rejected a suggestion by Kenya to resolve the deadlock by resorting to a vote. Those members expressed support for the principle of consensus that governs the WTO's decision-taking.

 

Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 26 March 2014.

 

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