Topics handled by WTO committees and agreements
Issues covered by the WTO’s committees and agreements


International Monetary Fund — “Coherence”


> Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, para. 74
> Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, paras. 84–85
> India — Quantitative Restrictions, paras. 149, 151–152

I.2.1 Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, para. 74     back to top
(WT/DS56/AB/R, WT/DS56/AB/R/Corr.1)

We agree, therefore, with the Panel that there is “nothing in the Agreement Between the IMF and the WTO, the Declaration on the Relationship of the World Trade Organization with the International Monetary Fund and the Declaration on the Contribution of the World Trade Organization to Achieving Greater Coherence in Global Economic Policy-making” that modifies Argentina’s obligations under Article VIII of the GATT 1994. We also agree with the Panel that there is “… no exception in the WTO Agreement that would excuse Argentina’s compliance with the requirements of Article VIII of the GATT”. …

I.2.2 Argentina — Textiles and Apparel, paras. 84–85     back to top
(WT/DS56/AB/R, WT/DS56/AB/R/Corr.1)

The only provision of the WTO Agreement that requires consultations with the IMF is Article XV:2 of the GATT 1994. This provision requires the WTO to consult with the IMF when dealing with “problems concerning monetary reserves, balances of payments or foreign exchange arrangements”. …

As in the WTO Agreement, there are no provisions in the Agreement Between the IMF and the WTO that require a panel to consult with the IMF in a case such as this. Under paragraph 8 of this latter Agreement, in a case involving “exchange measures within the Fund’s jurisdiction”, the IMF “shall inform in writing the relevant WTO body (including dispute settlement panels) … whether such measures are consistent with the Articles of Agreement of the Fund”. This case does not, however, involve “exchange measures within the Fund’s jurisdiction”. Paragraph 8 also provides that the IMF “may communicate its views in writing on matters of mutual interest to the [WTO] or any of its organs or bodies (excluding the WTO’s dispute settlement panels) …” (emphasis added). Evidently, the IMF has not been authorized to provide its views to a WTO dispute settlement panel on matters not relating to exchange measures within its jurisdiction, unless it is requested to do so by a panel under Article 13 of the DSU.

I.2.3 India — Quantitative Restrictions, paras. 149, 151–152     back to top

On the basis of these provisions, the Panel submitted to the IMF a number of questions regarding India’s balance-of-payments situation. The Panel gave considerable weight to the views expressed by the IMF in its reply to these questions. However, nothing in the Panel Report supports India’s argument that the Panel delegated to the IMF its judicial function to make an objective assessment of the matter. A careful reading of the Panel Report makes clear that the Panel did not simply accept the views of the IMF. The Panel critically assessed these views and also considered other data and opinions in reaching its conclusions.


We conclude that the Panel made an objective assessment of the matter before it. Therefore, we do not agree with India that the Panel acted inconsistently with Article 11 of the DSU.


The question whether Article XV:2 of the GATT 1994 requires panels to consult with the IMF and to consider as dispositive specific determinations of the IMF was debated at length by the parties before the Panel. However, the Panel did not consider it necessary, for the purposes of this dispute, to decide this issue. As this finding of the Panel is not appealed, we abstain from taking any position on it.

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