Australia and WTO Dispute Settlement Bulletin
United States: Investigation of the International Trade Commission in Softwood
Lumber from Canada (WT/DS277)
The Panel report in this dispute was issued on 24 March, finding in favour
of Canada's claims that USITC determinations with regard to Canadian softwood
lumber were inconsistent with obligations arising from both Anti-Dumping
and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreements. The Panel found that
the USITC determination with regard to the threat of material injury to an
industry in the US was erroneous. Accordingly, the decision to issue antidumping
and countervailing duty orders on the basis of that determination was likewise
inconsistent with the Agreements. The EC, Japan and Korea were third parties
to this dispute, initiated by Canada in late 2002. The Panel's report is
available on the WTO website.
Mexico: Measures Affecting Telecommunications Services (WT/DS204)
The Panel issued its report in this dispute to WTO Members on 2 April. The
US was successful in a number of its claims that Mexico was in breach of
its GATS commitments with regard to the activities of dominant Mexican telecommunications
carrier Telmex. Australia was a third party to this dispute. The Panel's
report is available on the WTO website.
European Communities: Export Subsidies on Sugar (WT/DS/265)
The Panel held its first oral hearings in Geneva from 30 March to 1 April.
A record number of third parties participated. See a summary
of Australia's first written submission, together with Australia's opening
and closing statements.
The Panel is scheduled to report towards the end of 2004.
Canada: Measures Relating to Exports of Wheat (WT/DS276)
The Panel report in this dispute was issued to WTO Members on 6 April. The
Panel found that the United States was successful with regard to its claims
concerning the treatment of imported grain, but unsuccesful in its complaint
concerning the activities of the Canadian Wheat Board. See Australia's
third party submission in this dispute. The Panel's report is available
on the WTO website.
Australia as a Complainant
United States: Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000
Amendment") (WT/DS217 and WT/DS234)
The parties to the arbitration proceeding which will determine the level
of retaliation permitted against the United States have made their submissions.
The arbitrator's award is expected in early June 2004. Eight of the eleven
complainants in this dispute (not including Australia) requested authorisation
to retaliate against the United States in January. Australia has agreed to
allow the United States until 27 December 2004 to comply with the Panel and
Appellate Body rulings.
European Communities: Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications
for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs (WT/DS290)
The Panel, which was composed by WTO Director-General Dr Supachai late in
January 2004, is expected to report on this dispute late in 2004. This dispute
involves complaints by Australia and the US with regard to the WTO consistency
of the EC regime for the protection of geographical indications for foodstuffs
and agricultural products in the EC. A number of WTO Members have reserved
rights as third parties to the dispute. See relevant Australian
Australia as a Respondent
Australia: Certain Measures Affecting the Importation
of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (WT/DS270)
No new developments. A panel has been established but not yet composed.
Australia: Certain Measures Affecting the Importation of Fresh Pineapple
No new developments. Consultations were held in November 2002 at
the request of the Philippines, but no panel has been established.
Australia: Quarantine Regime for Imports (WT/DS287)
No new developments. A panel was established in November 2003 but not yet
Selected disputes that have involved Australia as a Third Party
European Communities: Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing
of Biotech Products (WT/DS291, 292 and 293)
The Panel in this dispute was composed in early March, in response to a
request from the complainants (the United States, Canada and Argentina).
The Panel will consider the EC's moratorium on the approval of genetically
modified organisms and the marketing and import bans maintained by some EC
states on genetically modified products.
United States: Subsidies on Upland Cotton (WT/DS267)
The Panel report is expected to be issued mid 2004. See Australia's
third party submissions.
European Communities: Measures Affecting Meat and Meat Products (Hormones)
No new developments. The US has indicated its intention to maintain the
suspension of concessions on the basis that the EC has still not made its
import prohibition regime WTO-consistent. Canada has offered to consult
with the EC on the matter, while also maintaining its suspension.
United States: Tax Treatment for "Foreign Sales Corporations" (WT/DS108)
The EC's programme of countermeasures entered into force on 1 March. These
apply as additional customs duties on selected US products at an initial
rate of 5%, to be followed by monthly increases of 1% up to a ceiling of
17% to be attained on 1 March 2005 if the US has not complied with its WTO
obligations before then.
Japan: Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples (WT/DS245)
Japan and the United States have agreed that the "reasonable period
of time" for implementation of the recommendations and rulings of the
Dispute Settlement Body will expire on 30 June 2004. The Panel and Appellate
Body reports in this dispute were adopted on 10 December 2003.
Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body
General DSB Meeting - 19 March
The Chairmanship of the DBS was formally handed over to Kenyan Ambassador
Amina Mohamed. Two new panels were established at the 19 March meeting. Korea
requested the establishment of a panel in relation to its complaint against
the EC with regard to measures affecting trade in commercial vessels (WT/DS307).
China, Japan and the US reserved third party rights. The EC requested the
establishment of a panel to examine the WTO consistency of US so-called "zeroing" methodology
with regard to the calculation of dumping margins (WT/DS294). Argentina,
Brazil, China, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway and Chinese Taipei reserved
third party rights.
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This publication is intended to provide a general update and the information
within it should not be relied on as complete or definitive.