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.
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DS523: United States — Countervailing Measures on Certain Pipe and Tube Products from Turkey
Turkey referred to its statement at the previous DSB meeting on 22 May 2017 and requested for a second time that the DSB establish a panel to examine its complaint regarding the US countervailing measures on imports of Turkish pipe and tube products.
The United States said that it was disappointed with Turkey’s request for a panel. It had explained to Turkey that the determinations identified in Turkey’s panel request were fully consistent with WTO rules. Turkey sought to challenge certain alleged practices which were not measures within the scope of a dispute settlement proceeding, the United States added.
The DSB agreed to establish a panel. Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia reserved their third party rights to participate in the panel proceedings.
DS461: Colombia — Measures Relating to the Importation of Textiles, Apparel and Footwear
Panama, which initiated the proceedings in DS461, said that this dispute had been active for more than a decade. Colombia was still not in compliance with its WTO obligations despite panel and Appellate Body rulings against it. Panama therefore requested the establishment of a compliance panel under Article 21.5 of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU).
Colombia welcomed Panama’s intention to move forward and resolve this dispute in a systemic fashion. Colombia said that it had complied with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB, and thus Panama’s request for suspension of concessions under Article 22.6 of the DSU was groundless. Panama’s compliance panel request related mainly to a customs measure for combating customs fraud, which was WTO-compatible, Colombia said.
Several delegations intervened to comment on the sequencing of the compliance and arbitration proceedings and the merging of the two compliance panels (Colombia secured its own compliance panel under Article 21.5 on 6 March 2017).
The DSB agreed to refer to the original panel the matter raised by Panama. Australia, China, Ecuador, the European Union, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and the United States reserved their third party rights to participate in the panel proceedings.
DS485: Russian Federation — Tariff Treatment of Certain Agricultural and Manufacturing Products
The European Union, which initiated the proceedings in DS485, took note of the communication from Russia (WT/DS485/11) on the matter and referred to its statement at the previous DSB meeting. The EU said it was monitoring the situation closely and that it looked forward to resolving this dispute
The Russian Federation also referred to its statement made at the last DSB meeting and said that it had fully implemented the recommendations and rulings in DS485.
Statements on implementation
DS483: China — Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Cellulose Pulp from Canada
China informed the DSB of its intentions to implement the recommendations and rulings in DS483. China and Canada had already agreed on a reasonable period of time for China to implement ending on 22 April 2018. Canada thanked China for its commitment to implement and said that it hoped China would be able to do so in an expeditious manner.
DS471: United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China
The United States said it intended to implement the recommendations and rulings in DS471 and that it would discuss with China a reasonable period of time to implement. China said it was ready to discuss the reasonable period of time and that it hoped the United States would implement as soon as possible.
Surveillance of implementation
The United States presented its status reports with regard to DS184, “US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan”, and DS160, “US — Section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act”. The EU presented its status reports with regard to DS291, “EC — Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products” and DS473, “EU – Anti-dumping Measures on Biodiesel from Argentina”.
Appellate Body selection process — proposals
The European Union said that its proposal, contained in document WT/DSB/W/597/Rev.1, strictly followed the model for similar decisions in the past and was identical to the other proposal put forward by seven Latin American members, except that it provides for the launching of a selection process for the replacement of Appellate Body member Mr Peter Van den Bossche, whose second and final term expires on 11 December 2017. The selection processes for both Mr Van den Bossche as well as Mr Ricardo Ramírez-Hernández, whose second four-year term expires on 30 June 2017, would be completed in time for the DSB to appoint their successors no later than 24 October 2017.
The United States said that, given the ongoing transition in its political leadership, it was not in a position to support a proposed decision to launch a process to fill a position that would only become vacant in December. However, the United States was willing to join a consensus in favour of the proposal by Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru, it said.
The European Union said that it did not see any reason why both selection processes should not be launched at the present meeting and why one selection process should be singled out. The EU said that it regretted that the membership did not endorse its proposal and that there was a need to launch the processes without delay.
Mexico, speaking on behalf of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru, said that they had put forward a proposal (WT/DSB/W/596/Rev.1), which was based on prior DSB decisions. Mexico expressed its concern that the Appellate Body would only have six members as of July 2017 and called on members to launch at least one process at the present meeting.
The EU reiterated that it did not see any reason to single out one selection process and that the process to find a replacement for Mr Van den Bossche would need to begin soon in any event. The EU asked the DSB chair, Ambassador Juichi Ihara (Japan), to continue consultations with members on the issue.
Nearly thirty delegations took the floor to express disappointment that the selection process could not be launched and/or to express concern that there would be a vacancy on the Appellate Body starting from 1 July 2017. Several delegations urged members to be flexible in order to find a solution to this issue while some asked for greater clarification on the underlying reasons behind the impasse in launching the selection process.
The chair said it was regrettable that the DSB was not in a position to agree on this matter at the present meeting. He noted that he had presented several concrete ideas during consultations but none of these had gained consensus support. The chair said Article 17.2 of the DSU requires the DSB to “fill vacancies as they arise” and that it was now time to begin the process to fill the second vacancy. He said he would continue holding consultations with a view towards launching the selection process as soon as possible.
The next regular meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 20 July 2017.