DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

DS: Argentina — Definitive Safeguard Measure on Imports of Preserved Peaches

This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.

  

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Current status

 

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Key facts

Short title:
Complainant:
Respondent:
Third Parties:
Agreements cited:
(as cited in request for consultations)
Request for Consultations received:
Panel Report circulated: 14 February 2003

 

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Latest document

  

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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at

Consultations

Complaint by Chile.

On 14 September 2001, Chile requested consultations with Argentina in respect of a definitive safeguard measure which Argentina applies on imports of peaches preserved in water containing added sweetening matter, including syrup, preserved in any other form or in water. According to Chile Argentina’s definitive safeguard measure is inconsistent with Articles 2, 4, 5 and 12 of the Agreement on Safeguards, and Article XIX:1 of GATT 1994.

On 6 December 2001, Chile requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 18 December 2001, the DSB deferred the establishment of the panel.

 

Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

At the DSB meeting on 18 January 2002, a panel was established. Immediately after the establishment, Chile stated that it would not, for the moment, proceed with the appointment of panelists, as it was still hoping to reach a mutually satisfactory solution with Argentina. The European Communities, Paraguay and the United States reserved their third-party rights to participate in the Panel’s proceedings. On 13 March 2002, Chile informed the Chairman of the DSB that it would like the composition of the panel to go ahead. The panel was composed on 16 April 2002.

On 15 October 2002, the Chair of the Panel informed the DSB that it would not be possible to complete its work in six months due to the schedule agreed with the parties and that the Panel expected to circulate its report at the end of January 2003. On 14 February 2003, the Panel circulated its Report to the Members. The Panel concluded that the Argentine preserved peaches measure was imposed inconsistently with certain provisions of the Agreement on Safeguards and GATT 1994. In particular:

  • Argentina acted inconsistently with its obligations under Article XIX:1(a) of GATT 1994 by failing to demonstrate the existence of unforeseen developments as required;
     
  • Argentina acted inconsistently with its obligations under Article XIX:1(a) of GATT 1994 and Articles 2.1 and 4.2(a) of the Agreement on Safeguards by failing to make a determination of an increase in imports, in absolute or relative terms, as required;
     
  • Argentina acted inconsistently with its obligations under Article XIX:1(a) of GATT 1994 and Articles 2.1, 4.1(b) and 4.2(a) of the Agreement on Safeguards because the competent authorities, in their determination of the existence of a threat of serious injury:
  1. did not evaluate all of the relevant factors having a bearing on the situation of the domestic industry;
     
  2. did not provide a reasoned and adequate explanation of how the facts supported their determination; and
     
  3. did not find that serious injury was clearly imminent.

The Panel did not find that Argentina acted inconsistently with its obligations under Articles 2.1 and 4.1(b) of the Agreement on Safeguards by basing a finding of the existence of a threat of serious injury on an allegation, conjecture or remote possibility. The Panel exercised judicial economy with respect to all other claims.

At its meeting on 15 April 2003, the DSB adopted the Panel Report.

 

Implementation of adopted reports

On 14 May 2003, Argentina informed the DSB that it could not comply with its recommendations immediately and thus asked for a reasonable period of time for implementation. On 27 June 2003, Argentina and Chile informed the DSB that they had agreed that the reasonable period of time will be 31 December 2003.

At its meeting on 23 January 2004, Argentina announced that the safeguard measure at issue had been withdrawn on 31 December 2003 in line with the agreement reached between Argentina and Chile and thus in its view it had implemented the DSB’s recommendations. Chile welcomed the withdrawal of the measure by Argentina.

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