WTO: 2016 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.

The Chair clarified that the new selection process concerning the non-reappointment of one Appellate Body member is separate from the selection process initiated in January 2016 to replace Ms Zhang. He hoped that the Selection Committee will be in a position to make recommendations to fill both vacancies no later than November 2016.

The situation arose after the United States stated in May that it did not support Mr Chang’s reappointment. The deadline for nominations of candidates for the post left by Mr Chang has been pegged to 14 September. Members agreed that candidates nominated for the January selection process can be added to the second pool of candidates and will not have to undergo an interview for a second time. The Selection Committee will conduct the interviews and hear the views of members in October in order to make a recommendation for the DSB to adopt a decision by November at the latest, the Chair said.

 

Compliance panels established for two disputes

DS437: US — Countervailing duty measures on certain products from China

The DSB agreed to establish a panel requested by China to examine the United States’ compliance with a previous ruling concerning countervailing duty measures on certain products from China. China said consultations with the US failed to resolve the dispute. As the two sides had a prior agreement on procedure, the US did not object to the establishment of the compliance panel.

The US said it was disappointed China chose to request the establishment of a compliance panel and that it was prepared to engage in the proceedings and to explain to the panel that China has no legal basis for its claims. The European Union, Canada, Australia, Japan, Korea, India, Russia and Viet Nam reserved their third-party rights to participate in the proceedings.

DS371: Thailand — Customs and fiscal measures on cigarettes from the Philippines  

The DSB agreed to establish a compliance panel for the dispute between the Philippines and Thailand over customs and fiscal measures on cigarettes. Both sides had a “sequencing agreement”, wherein Thailand would not object to the Philippines’ first request for a compliance panel. The EU, Canada, Japan, China, US, Australia and Russia reserved their third-party rights to participate in the proceedings.

 

Panel established for US-Canada dispute over glossy paper

DS505: US — Countervailing measures on super-calendered paper from Canada

Upon Canada’s second request, the DSB established a panel to examine Canada’s complaint regarding countervailing duties adopted by the United States on super-calendered paper. Canada said it considered the US measures to be inconsistent with its obligations and that it remained open to continuing dialogue with the US to resolve the dispute.

The US said it regretted Canada had made a second request for a panel. The US said its actions were fully consistent with its obligations and that Canada had no legal basis for its claims. The EU, Japan, Brazil, Korea, Turkey, India and China reserved their third-party rights to participate in the proceedings.

 

Implementation of DSB rulings and recommendations

DS404 and DS429

The US and Viet Nam told the DSB that they had reached a mutually agreed upon and satisfactory solution for the disputes regarding the anti-dumping measures of the US on shrimp imported from Viet Nam. The US said this demonstrates its commitment to compliance and to securing positive resolutions to outstanding disputes as well as the ability of the US and Viet Nam to work together.

Viet Nam said that, while it did not achieve all it desired, the resolution was important. Viet Nam said it demonstrates the WTO dispute settlement system’s ability to impose disciplines internationally.

DS461

Colombia reported to the DSB its intention to apply the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in the dispute with Panama over measures relating to the import of textiles, apparel and footwear. Colombia added that this effort will require rigorous analysis and coordination at the administrative level as the measures are essential for the country’s fight against money laundering.

Colombia said it is in consultations with Panama to agree on a timeline for compliance. Panama urged Colombia to comply in good faith as the measure at issue is meant to expire on 31 July and would need no additional action other than the passing of time.

 

Next meeting

The next regular DSB meeting is scheduled for 2 September 2016.

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