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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.

DS397:“European Communities — Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Iron or Steel Fasteners from China: Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by China”

China noted that after almost seven years of WTO litigation, the most recent Appellate Body (AB) ruling left no doubt that the EU’s anti-dumping measures against Chinese imports of fasteners continued to violate the EU’s WTO obligations. Recalling the history of this dispute, China said it was pleased that the compliance panel had ruled in favour of many of its claims and that the AB had not only upheld all those findings but had also agreed with China’s cross-appeal and had reversed several of the panel’s findings that were in favour of the European Union.

In China’s view, the compliance panel and the AB findings had fully vindicated China’s position and were a welcome reminder that, with the exception of the special rules governing the normal value determination that were due to expire on 11 December 2016, Chinese exporters should not be treated differently from exporters from other WTO members in EU anti-dumping investigations. China urged the EU to take all the necessary steps to ensure prompt and full compliance, starting with the immediate withdrawal of the anti-dumping duties on fasteners from China.

The European Union noted that it had taken a number of measures to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings originally adopted in 2011 and that only some of those measures were disputed in the compliance proceedings whereby the panel and the AB found that certain aspects of the EU’s review were inconsistent with the Anti-Dumping Agreement. The EU welcomed the AB’s confirmation that where the analogue country methodology is used, the investigating authority is not required to adjust for differences in costs between the non-market economy producer and the analogue country producer where this would lead to adjusting back to the prices and costs in the non-market economy industry that were found to be distorted.

The EU took note of the AB’s clarifications of “all comparable export transactions” under the Anti-Dumping Agreement. The EU also took note of the findings related to the status of analogue country producers in the investigation and to the treatment and disclosure of information that those producers provided. The EU said that it intended to ensure that the measures fully complied with the AB’s findings as soon as possible.

The United States (third party to the dispute) noted that some of the findings in this dispute appeared to have systemic implications. In its view, while some findings were positive contributions to members’ understanding of the Anti-Dumping Agreement, others raised concerns. The US considered that the AB’s findings may be best understood as relating to the special facts of this dispute, in particular the uniquely active role that the entity at issue played in the investigation.


Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 26 February 2016.

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