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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DS617: United States — Anti-dumping measure on oil country tubular goods from Argentina
Argentina submitted its first request for the establishment of a panel to review the final anti-dumping (AD) measure imposed by the United States on OCTG from Argentina as well as certain provisions of US legislation regarding cumulation of imports in assessing injury caused by imports in AD and countervailing duty investigations.
The AD duty order was imposed by the US in November 2022, Argentina said, adding that the challenged measure implies enormous economic damage for Argentina. Argentina requested consultations with the US on the matter on 17 May but said the talks which took place on 6 July failed to resolve the matter, thus prompting its request for a panel.
The United States said the AD duties were imposed on OCTG from Argentina following a thorough investigation by the U.S. Department of Commerce, and an equally thorough injury investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which were fully consistent with WTO rules. For these reasons, the US said it could not agree to the establishment of a panel.
The DSB took note of the statements and agreed to revert to the matter should the requesting member wish to do so.
DS601 China — Anti-Dumping measures on stainless steel products from Japan
China said it notified WTO members on 25 August of its intention to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in the DS601 dispute case in a manner that respects its WTO obligations. China will need a reasonable period of time to do this and is currently in discussions with Japan on the matter, China said.
Japan said it welcomed China's indication of its intention to comply with the ruling but said it has not yet been able to agree with China upon the reasonable period of time for implementation despite the fact that more than 45 days have passed since the DSB adoption of the ruling. Japan said it regrets that the discussions with China have not been as active as it had expected during the 45-days period and that it hopes to accelerate the discussions with China.
The European Union said it welcomed China's intention to comply with its WTO obligations and said it was interested in hearing from China whether it also intends to bring into compliance its measures with respect to affected EU companies.
In response to Japan's comment, China said it was on the same page with Japan in regard to accelerating the discussion on the reasonable period of time for implementation and that it has made every effort to reach an agreement with Japan bilaterally. With regards to the EU, China said it will make sure its measures are in full compliance with the WTO ruling.
DS582: India — Tariff Treatment on Certain Goods in the Information and Communications Technology Sector
DS588: India — Tariff Treatment on Certain Goods in the Information and Communications Technology Sector
India, the European Union and Chinese Taipei requested additional time for the DSB to consider for adoption the panel rulings in the cases initiated by the EU and Chinese Taipei regarding India's imposition of tariffs on certain high-tech goods. The parties asked that the DSB further delay consideration of the panel reports until 18 December in order to help facilitate resolution of the disputes. The DSB had agreed to previous requests from the EU and Chinese Taipei to delay consideration until 19 September.
The United States said it welcomed the efforts of the parties to continue their engagement and it supports efforts to continue dialogue with the aim of achieving a mutually agreed solution. China urged India to adjust its inconsistent measures in accordance with WTO rules.
The DSB agreed to the requests from India, the EU and Chinese Taipei.
DS597: United States — Origin Marking Requirement
Reiterating statements made at previous DSB meetings, the United States once again highlighted its concerns regarding the panel ruling in DS597, citing the “serious systemic and practical implications” of the proceedings. The WTO does not have the competence or the authority to assess the national security assessments of a member, nor does it have the competence or authority to pass judgment on the importance that the United States places on fundamental freedoms and human rights, or actions taken to support those values, the US said.
In order to prevent further undermining of the WTO, members need to clarify and adopt a shared understanding of the essential security exception, which is a critical element in the international trading system and permits members to take on trade commitments to each other, the US said.
Hong Kong, China again criticized the US for putting this item for the fifth time on the DSB agenda despite the fact the US appealed the panel report. It is highly problematic for a losing party to keep criticizing openly at regular DSB meetings, time and again, rulings by an independent panel formed in line with WTO laws and procedures, said Hong Kong, China. It added that the DSB is not the forum for discussion of the internal affairs of any individual member.
China and Russia took the floor to criticize the US for continuing to put the item on the DSB agenda.
Appellate Body appointments
Guatemala, speaking on behalf of 130 members, introduced for the 68th 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, Guatemala said for the group.
The United States repeated that it does not support the proposed decision to commence the appointment of Appellate Body members as its longstanding concerns with WTO dispute settlement remain unaddressed. The US has been working with members to advance this goal; considerable work remains and achieving fundamental dispute settlement reform will not be easy, the US said, but working collectively towards that goal provides the greatest chance of achieving durable, lasting reform.
More than 20 delegations then took the floor in support of the proposal, with one speaking on behalf of a group of members. Many noted the commitment made by ministers at the WTO's 12th Ministerial Conference to engage in discussions aimed at securing a fully functioning dispute settlement system by 2024 and pledged their support for securing an outcome by then. Several noted the ongoing informal discussions taking place regarding dispute settlement reform and welcomed the intensified efforts being made there.
Six members made reference to the Multi-party interim appeal arrangement (MPIA) as a temporary alternative means available to securing an appeals review while the Appellate Body remains non-functioning.
Guatemala said that on behalf of the 130 members it regretted that for the 68th occasion members have not been able to launch the selection processes. Ongoing conversations about reform of the dispute settlement system should not prevent the Appellate Body from continuing to operate fully, and members should comply with their obligation under the Dispute Settlement Understanding to fill the vacancies as they arise, Guatemala said for the group.
The United States addressed the panel ruling in DS558 which was appealed by China. The panel rightly rejected China’s argument that the U.S. Section 232 actions are safeguard measures that may be “rebalanced” under WTO rules, the US said, instead seeing China’s measures for what they are: illegal retaliation. The US said China’s use of the WTO dispute settlement system to challenge the U.S. Section 232 national security actions has caused grave systemic damage to the WTO and that WTO reform must ensure that issues of national security cannot be reviewed in WTO dispute settlement.
China noted its appeal and said there were errors in the panel's findings regarding China's actions. China is concerned the findings of the panel invalidate the rights of WTO members to take rebalancing measures and to defend their legitimate rights and interests. The findings open another black hole for certain members to adopt unilateral and protectionist measures to evade their WTO obligations, China said. China urged the US to immediately withdraw its Section 232 measures and work with other members to restore a binding dispute settlement mechanism as soon as possible.
The European Union and Russia took the floor to voice their concerns with the panel's findings.
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.”
The next regular DSB meeting will take place on 26 October.