DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

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.

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DS592: Indonesia — Measures Relating to Raw Materials

The European Union submitted its second request for a panel to rule on Indonesia's measures relating to raw materials, which include Indonesia's export prohibition on nickel ore and domestic processing requirements on minerals, in particular nickel ore and iron ore. The EU's first request for a panel was blocked by Indonesia at the last DSB meeting on 25 January. 

Indonesia said it believed the measures at issue were fully consistent with, and justified under, WTO rules and said it was ready to defend the measures before the panel.

The DSB agreed to the establishment of a panel.  Canada, China, Russia, India, Ukraine, Japan, the United States, Turkey, Chinese Taipei, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates reserved their rights to participate as third parties in the proceedings.

DS597: United States — Origin Marking Requirement

Hong Kong, China submitted its second request for the establishment of a WTO dispute panel regarding new US origin marking requirements for goods imported from Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong, China's first request for a panel was blocked by the United States at the last DSB meeting on 25 January. Hong Kong,China reiterated its belief that the measure, which took effect on 10 November, is inconsistent with the WTO's fundamental obligation to provide most favored nation (MFN) treatment to all members as well as various provisions under the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), Rules of Origin Agreement and Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. 

The United States said it regretted that Hong Kong, China had decided to move forward with its second request for a panel.  The US said the action is based on an Executive Order which determined that the situation with respect to Hong Kong, China constitutes a threat to the national security of the United States.  Issues of national security are not appropriate for adjudication in the WTO dispute settlement system, and the WTO cannot, consistent with Article XXI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, consider those claims or make the requested findings.

The DSB agreed to the establishment of a panel. Canada, Brazil, China, Ukraine, Norway, Korea, India, Singapore, Turkey, Russia, Japan, Switzerland and the European Union reserved their rights to participate as third parties in the proceedings.

DS234: United States – Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000

The European Union reiterated its request that the United States cease transferring anti-dumping and countervailing duties to the US domestic industry, arguing that every such disbursement was a clear act of non-compliance with the rulings on this matter. The United States said it has taken all actions necessary to implement the ruling and that it was not required to submit a status report. Canada thanked the EU for putting the item on the DSB agenda.

DS316: European Communities and Certain Member States – Measures affecting trade in large civil aircraft: Implementation of the recommendations adopted by the DSB

The United States said that once again the European Union has failed to provide a status report to the DSB concerning dispute DS316, the US complaint against government subsidies for the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

The EU countered that no status report was required since the dispute proceedings were not concluded. In addition, measures adopted in August 2020 go far beyond what is required to bring the EU into compliance with the ruling. The EU reiterated that it was determined to find a long term solution to the WTO aircraft disputes.

The United States responded that the EU only addressed two of the eight subsidy measures found to be inconsistent with WTO rules in its August announcement and that the amendments made to French and Spanish launch aid loans were marginal and insufficient to withdraw the subsidies.

Appellate Body appointments

Mexico, speaking on behalf of 121 members, once again introduced the group's proposal to start the selection processes for filling vacancies on the Appellate Body. The extensive number of members submitting the proposal reflects a common concern over the current situation in the Appellate Body that is seriously affecting the overall WTO dispute settlement system against the best interest of members, Mexico said for the group.

Around 20 members took the floor to reiterate the importance of resolving the impasse over the appointment of new members as soon as possible and re-establishing a functioning Appellate Body.  Many of the delegations described a two-tier dispute settlement system, with a panel and appeals stage, as a core part of the multilateral trading system.

The United States said it was not in a position to support the proposed decision. The United States continues to have systemic concerns with the Appellate Body, which it has raised and explained for more than 16 years and across multiple U.S. administrations. The US said it looked forward to further discussions with members on those concerns.

Surveillance of implementation

The United States presented status reports with regard to DS184, "US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan",  DS160, "United States — Section 110(5) of US Copyright Act", DS464, "United States — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Large Residential Washers from Korea", and DS471, "United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China."

The European Union presented a status report with regard to DS291, "EC — Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products."

Indonesia presented its status reports in DS477 and DS478, "Indonesia — Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products." 

Other business

Indonesia said Australia has not provided a status report with regards to their dispute in DS529 "Australia — Anti-Dumping Measures on A4 Copy Paper."  While Indonesia welcomed the recent decision by Australia's Industry Minister to maintain revocation of the anti-dumping duty, it also noted that the decision could be appealed. Australia replied that it had removed the duties and complied with the ruling, thus there was no obligation to submit a status report.

Pakistan explained why it had decided to appeal the panel's findings in DS538, “Pakistan — Anti-Dumping Measures on Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene Film from the United Arab Emirates” citing what it said were errors by the panel.  Pakistan said that every WTO member had the right to appeal and the fact that the Appellate Body was currently dysfunctional does not preclude Pakistan from exercising this right.  Pakistan said it understood the UAE wished to resolve this matter bilaterally, a development it welcomed.

The United Arab Emirates said it was disappointed with Pakistan's decision to file an appeal, particularly given the extent of the inconsistencies found by the panel with regards to its original decision to impose the duties as well as Pakistan's decision to extend their application.  Pakistan's appeal will only delay the resolution of the dispute and nullify the UAE's rights under the covered agreements, it said, but the UAE was ready to engage in any talks to resolve the dispute.

The European Union, Russia and Canada said the case was another example of the negative consequences resulting from the blockage of new Appellate Body appointments.

Next DSB meeting

The next DSB meeting will take place on 26 March.

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