DS: United States — Measure Affecting Government Procurement

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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Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at


Complaint by the European Communities.

This request, dated 20 June 1997, is in respect of an Act enacted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on 25 June 1996, entitled Act regulating State Contracts with companies doing Business with Burma (Myanmar). The Act provides, in essence, that public authorities of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are not allowed to procure goods or services from any persons who do business with Burma. The EC contends that, as Massachusetts is covered under the US schedule to the GPA, this violates Articles VIII(B), X and XIII of the GPA Agreement. The EC also contends that the measure also nullifies benefits accruing to it under the GPA, as well as impeding the attainment of the objectives of the GPA, including that of maintaining balance of rights and obligations.


Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 8 September 1998, the European Communities requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 21 October 1998, the DSB established a panel. Japan reserved its third-party rights. The DSB agreed that pursuant to Article 9.1 of the DSU, a single panel would examine this dispute together with DS95. On 10 February 1999, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that, at the request of the complainants, the panel had agreed, pursuant to Article 12.12 of the DSU, to suspend the panel proceedings. The Chair of the panel noted that this request was made in the context of the issuance of a court ruling in the United States barring the implementation of the measure at issue.



Since the panel was not requested to resume its work, pursuant to Article 12.12 of the DSU, the authority for establishment of the panel lapsed as of 11 February 2000.


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