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.
Both New Zealand and the United States referred to their statements made at the previous meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) in April regarding their first requests for the DSB to establish panels to examine this dispute. They had noted at that meeting that Indonesia’s measures were inconsistent with core WTO obligations. New Zealand and the US therefore requested for the second time that the DSB establish a single panel to examine the two complaints. Indonesia reiterated its view that the measures concerned are fully consistent with Indonesia’s WTO obligations.
The DSB established a single panel to examine this dispute. Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Norway, Paraguay, Singapore and Chinese Taipei reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel’s proceedings.
Following the decisions of Japan and China to appeal the panel reports pertaining to the disputes “China — Measures Imposing Anti-Dumping Duties on High-Performance Stainless Steel Seamless Tubes from Japan” (DS454) and “China- Measures Imposing Anti-Dumping Duties on High-Performance Stainless Steel Seamless Tubes from the EU” (DS460) respectively, these items were removed from the DSB agenda.
Several members made statements concerning status reports or provided information or comments about different disputes.
DS431: China — Measures Related to the Exportation of Rare Earths, Tungsten and Molybdenum
China informed the DSB that, according to notices by the Ministry of Commerce and the General Administration of Customs of China, the application of export duties and export quotas to rare earths, tungsten and molybdenum as well as restriction on trading rights of enterprises exporting rare earths and molybdenum which were found to be inconsistent with WTO rules had been removed. In that regard, China had fully implemented the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in these disputes within the reasonable period of time which had expired on 2 May 2015.
The US said that it was encouraged by China’s statement that it had eliminated the export duties and export quotas on the products at issue in this dispute by the end of the reasonable period of time. However, the US remained concerned about China’s imposition of a licensing requirement on the export of the same products as such a licensing requirement could potentially act as an export restriction. In that regard, the US could not yet share China’s assessment that it had achieved full compliance. The US will engage further with China.
The EU expressed its concern regarding China’s decision to inscribe this matter under "Other Business" without giving the EU prior notice as stipulated in the Rules of Procedure. In that regard, the EU could only take note of China’s statement. Japan agreed with the EU regarding the need to provide prior notice. Japan will closely monitor China’s implementation in this dispute. The US agreed with the EU and Japan regarding the need to provide prior notice.
Also under “Other Business”, the Chairman made a short statement regarding the issue of possible reappointments of two Appellate Body members. He recalled that at the April 2015 meeting, he had informed the DSB that the first four-year terms of office of Mr Bhatia and Mr Graham would expire on 10 December 2015 and that both were eligible for reappointment to a second and final term of office. He had also informed delegations that both had expressed their willingness to serve for a second term. Also at that meeting he had announced that he would consult informally with WTO members on this matter should they wish to do so.
The Chair said that those consultations were ongoing and he expected them to continue for the next few months. He will submit the matter for decision by the DSB as soon as possible. In the meantime, he remained open and again invited any delegation with views to contact him directly should they wish to do so.
The next special meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 29 May 2015. The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 19 June 2015.