WTO: 2015 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.

DS487: US — Conditional Tax Incentives for Large Civil Aircraft
The European Union requested the immediate establishment of a panel under the “fast track” provisions of the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM) Agreement, in case of possible prohibited subsidies. The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) established a panel. Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea and the Russian Federation reserved their third-party rights to participate in the panel's proceedings.

The EU said that, in 2013, Washington State had decided to extend, until the end of 2040, significant tax breaks already found to be illegal in 2012. These subsidies created a disadvantage to the European aircraft industry and were also conditional upon the use of domestic over imported goods. In the EU's view, the 2013 Washington State measure is inconsistent with the SCM Agreement. Consultations held on 2 February 2015 could not resolve the dispute.

The United States said that it believed that its measures are fully consistent with its obligations under the relevant WTO agreements. The US was of the strong view that the EU's actions should not be allowed to delay further the first aircraft dispute, “EC — Large Civil Aircraft”, which had already suffered significant delays.

 

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Deferral of establishment of panels 

The DSB deferred the establishment of three panels to examine the following disputes: DS482 as requested by the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu; DS483 as requested by Canada; and DS486 as requested by Pakistan.

DS482: Canada — Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Certain Carbon Steel Welded Pipe from The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu
Chinese Taipei said that, in its view, the anti-dumping measures imposed by Canada and the relevant Canadian laws were inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the Anti-Dumping Agreement and seriously affected trade in carbon steel welded pipe. Canada was of the view that its measures are consistent with its WTO obligations and it was not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel.

DS483: China — Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Cellulose Pulp from Canada
Canada said that China's imposition of anti-dumping duties on imports of cellulose pulp from Canada is inconsistent with China's obligations under the Anti-Dumping Agreement and the GATT 1994. In Canada's view, China violated its obligations by improperly determining dumping margins, making injury determinations and conducting the underlying investigation. China noted that its Investigating Authority had determined that the imports from Canada constituted dumping and that the dumped imports had caused material injury to China's domestic industry. In that regard, China had imposed the anti-dumping measure which it believed was consistent with its WTO obligations.

DS486: EU — Countervailing Measures on Certain Polyethylene Terephthalate from Pakistan
Pakistan said that the measures at issue in this dispute are EU Commission regulations imposing provisional and definitive countervailing duty respectively on imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from Pakistan. In its view, aspects of investigations that led to the imposition of the countervailing measure as well as some aspects of the determination or calculation of the countervailing duty were inconsistent with the SCM agreement. The EU said that it had imposed the countervailing duties based on the grounds that imports from Pakistan were receiving trade distorting subsidies and had generated an injury to the EU's PET industry.

 

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Implementation of recommendations and rulings 

The US and Argentina each informed the DSB of their intentions in respect of implementation of the DSB's recommendations and rulings in the disputes shown below.

DS437: US — Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Products from China
The US recalled that on 13 February 2015 it had informed the DSB by letter that it intends to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings in a manner that respects its WTO obligations. The US said that it would need a reasonable period of time for implementation. China hoped that the US would implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings as early as possible and stood ready to discuss the reasonable period of time with the US.

DS438, DS444, DS445: Argentina — Measures Affecting the Importation of Goods
Argentina informed the DSB that it intends to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings in these disputes in accordance with its WTO obligations. Argentina said that it would require a reasonable period of time to do so and that it was ready to discuss the matter with the three co-complainants. The co-complainants (EU, US and Japan) expressed their readiness to discuss the reasonable period of time with Argentina.

 

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New chairman 

The DSB elected, by acclamation, Ambassador Harald Neple of Norway as its Chairman. Delegations thanked the outgoing Chair, Ambassador De Mateo of Mexico, for his work and welcomed the incoming Chair.

 

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Next meeting 

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 25 March 2015.

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