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.



DS604: Russian Federation — Certain Measures Concerning Domestic and Foreign Products and Services

The EU said that Russia has taken on certain commitments within the framework of the WTO as regards to procurement by staterelated entities for commercial purposes. These commitments include non- discrimination between domestic and imported products and between services from Russian and foreign entities. However, for several years Russia has developed measures that seriously disadvantage EU companies when selling goods and services to Russian state-related enterprises and other entities through commercial procurement, the EU noted.

The EU said it has raised the issue a number of times bilaterally as well as in the WTO fora, but unfortunately no solution was found. It said that in 2019 the value of published tenders by Russian state-owned enterprises amounted to 23.5 trillion roubles, or approximately EUR 290 billion, which was equivalent to around 20% of Russia's GDP.

The EU requested WTO dispute consultations with Russia on 22 July this year, with the consultations taking place on 13 September.  While the meeting was useful in clarifying certain points, it did not resolve the issue, the EU said. 

The EU called on Russia to remove the measures or to bring them into compliance with WTO rules. To this end, it added, the EU requests the establishment of a panel to fully assess the measures.

Russia said that it regretted the decision by the EU to request the establishments of the panel.  Russia said it engaged constructively in consultations and provided a detailed explanation of its laws and regulations at issue, with a view to resolving the dispute.

Russia said it is confident that its measures are in compliance with its WTO obligations and that it is ready and willing to continue consulting with Brussels on the matter. In light of this, Russia said it is not in the position to support the EU's request for the establishment of the panel.

The DSB took note of the statements and agreed to revert to the matter if requested by a member. 

DS605: Dominican Republic — Antidumping Measures on Corrugated Steel Bars

Costa Rica submitted its first request for the establishment of a panel to rule on measures adopted by the Dominican Republic imposing anti-dumping duties on imports of corrugated or deformed steel rods and bars for concrete reinforcement originating in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica said that it considers the measure imposed by the Dominican Republic is not compatible with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and the Anti-dumping Agreement (ADA).  Specifically, Costa Rica considers that the investigation that led to the dumping order was flawed and did not meet the minimum requirements under the ADA, and that authorities in the Dominican Republic imposed a definitive dumping order despite no evidence of dumping or injury to domestic producers. 

Consultations between the two sides took place on 20 September but failed to settle the dispute.  Given that its concerns remain, Costa Rica asked the DSB to agree to the establishment of a dispute panel to review its claims.

The Dominican Republic said it regretted Costa Rica's request for a panel and said it considered it to be premature given the parties have not yet exhausted all possibilities in finding a solution. The Dominican Republic is ready to hold additional rounds of consultations with Costa Rica to try and find an amicable solution to this dispute, it said. For this reason, the Dominican Republic is not in a position to accept the establishment of a panel.

The DSB took note of the statements and agreed to revert to the matter if requested by a member.

DS217: United States — Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000

Both the EU and the United States referred to their previous statements under this item.

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 noted that the US and the EU reached an “Understanding on a cooperative framework for Large Civil Aircraft” and that it looks forward to engaging with its EU partners to create a more level global playing field in this sector.  The EU referred to its previous statements under this item.

Appellate Body appointments

Mexico, speaking on behalf of 122 members, introduced for the 48th time 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 which is seriously affecting the overall WTO dispute settlement system against the best interest of members, Mexico said for the group.  Mexico also welcomed Cambodia as the latest member to join the co-sponsors of the proposal.

The United States reiterated it was not in a position to support the proposed decision.  The US continues to have systemic concerns with the Appellate Body, which it has explained and raised over the past 16 years and across multiple administrations.  The US said it believes that WTO members must undertake fundamental reform if the dispute settlement system is to remain viable and credible.  The dispute settlement system can and should better support the WTO’s negotiating and monitoring functions, the US said, adding that it looked forward to further discussions with members on these important issues.

More than 20 delegations took the floor to reiterate the importance of the WTO's two-tiered dispute settlement system to the stability and predictability of the multilateral trading system and the need to resolve the impasse over the appointment of new members as soon as possible and re-establish a functioning Appellate Body. They pledged their support to continue efforts to find a solution acceptable to all members. Several delegations referred to the 26 November decision to postpone the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) but said this should not slow efforts to finding a solution.

For the 122 members, Mexico again came back to say the fact a member may have concerns about certain aspects of the functioning of the Appellate Body cannot serve as pretext to impair and disrupt the work of the DSB and the dispute settlement in general. It said that there was no legal justification for the current blocking of the selection processes, which is causing concrete nullification and impairment of rights for many members.

The chair, Didier Chambovey (Switzerland), again emphasized that resolving the impasse requires political engagement by all members. He expressed hope that, despite the postponement of MC12, members will be able to find a solution to this matter as soon as possible.

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

DS578: Morocco — Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on School Exercise Books from Tunisia

Tunisia made a statement noting its ongoing differences with Morocco on the implementation of the WTO panel ruling in DS578, “Morocco — Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on School Exercise Books from Tunisia.” Tunisia said the two sides met on 22 October and agreed that Morocco would transmit to Tunisia by 29 October a revised calculation of the dumping margins for the two concerned Tunisian exporters.  However, one month has passed and Tunisia is still awaiting news from Morocco. 

Tunisia said it is hoping to get one last opportunity to continue discussions with Morocco on the basis of what was proposed, but that if Morocco does not respond positively, Tunisia will consider asking for the DSB's formal adoption of the panel ruling at its next regular meeting.

Next meeting

The next DSB meeting will take place on 20 December.



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