Australia and WTO Dispute Settlement

Subscription / unsubscription information

Monthly Bulletin: June 2001

This month we have also included a copy of a paper, Australian Contributions to the Development of WTO Law, presented recently by one of our officers at an international law conference.

RESOLVING EXPORT ACCESS PROBLEMS THROUGH THE WTO SYSTEM

If you have answered "yes" to those questions, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade stands ready to examine and discuss options for resolution of your access problems.  Exporters can contact WTO legal experts in the Department on the following numbers:

Australia as a Complainant (3)

Korea:  Measures affecting imports of fresh, chilled and frozen beef (WT/DS169 and WT/DS161)

No new developments. Australia, the United States (US) and Korea have agreed on a reasonable period of time for Korea to implement the recommendations of the DSB, expiring on 10 September 2001. Korea has agreed to consult with the complainants on Korea's implementation.

United States: Safeguard measure on imports of fresh, chilled and frozen lamb meat (WT/DS177 and WT/DS178)

The US confirmed at the 20 June 2001 meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) that it intends to implement the DSB recommendations and rulings in a manner that respects US WTO obligations and that it will need a reasonable amount of time in which to do so. The parties have commenced discussions on a reasonable period of time. Australia and New Zealand have again called on the US to comply promptly with the recommendations of the DSB (For full text of Australia's statement to the DSB see p 5).

United States: Continuing Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (Byrd Amendment) (WT/DS217) (Joint consultation request)

Canada and Mexico requested separate Article XXII consultations concerning the Byrd Amendment after the US rejected their request to participate in the earlier February consultations with the original complainants. The US rejected the requests from each of the original co-complainants to join these consultations with Canada and Mexico which were held on 29 June 2001.       

Disputes involving Australia as a Third Party (11)

Chile: Price band system and safeguard measures relating to certain agricultural products (WT/DS207)

The Panel was composed on 17 May 2001. The first substantive meeting of the parties is scheduled for 12-13 September 2001 with the final report scheduled to be publicly released  on 21 February 2002.

EC:  Measures affecting meat and meat products (Hormones) (WT/DS26)

No new developments. The EC is still facing WTO-authorised retaliation by the US and Canada because of its failure to implement within a reasonable period of time.

United States: Import prohibition of certain shrimp and shrimp products (the shrimp/turtle" case) (WT/DS58)

The Article 21.5 compliance panel - established to review the WTO consistency of the revised US measures - released its report on 15 June 2001.  The compliance panel found that the revised US measures were consistent with the 1998 Appellate Body ruling. The Panel found that the import prohibition was provisionally justified under Article XX GATT 1994 as long as the conditions stated in the report (in particular, the ongoing serious good faith efforts to reach a multilateral agreement) remained satisfied. Malaysia is likely to indicate at the next DSB meeting whether it intends to appeal the findings of the Panel.

Canada: Measures affecting the importation of milk and the exportation of dairy products (WT/DS103 and WT/DS113)

The compliance panel established to examine complaints that Canada's implementation measures remain WTO-inconsistent is scheduled to circulate its report publicly on 11 July 2001. 

United States: Section 110(5) Copyright Act ("Homestyle"exemption) (WT/DS160)

No new developments.  As previously reported, the reasonable period of time for the US to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB on section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act expires on 27 July 2001.

United States: Definitive safeguard measures on imports of wheat gluten from the EC (WT/DS166)

The US Trade Representative announced on the date of expiry of the original safeguard measure, 1 June 2001,  that in lieu of extending the measure, the US government would provide the domestic wheat gluten industry with a USD40 million package of financial assistance over two years.

United States: Measures treating export restraints as subsidies (WT/DS194)

The Panel Report was circulated to WTO Members on 29 June 2001. The Panel found that an export restraint as defined in this dispute does not constitute a financial contribution within the meaning of Article 1.1(a) of the WTO Subsidies Agreement. The Panel also found that US law does not require the imposition of countervailing duties against practices that are not subsidies and is therefore not inconsistent with the Subsidies Agreement.

United States: Definitive safeguard measures on imports of circular welded carbon quality line pipe from Korea (WT/DS202)

No new developments. As previously reported the Panel has held its first hearing with all parties.

United States: Tax Treatment for Foreign Sales Corporations (WT/DS108)

The Article 21.5 compliance panel, established to review the WTO consistency of the revised US FSC scheme, is expected to issue its report publicly in August 2001.  The Interim Report was released to the US and the EC on 22 June 2001 and media reports indicate that the Panel has found the US implementing measures to be inconsistent with its WTO obligations.

Brazil: Export financing program for aircraft (WT/DS46) 

No new developments.

Canada: Export credits and loans guarantees for regional aircraft (WT/DS222)

The first substantive meeting of the parties and third parties was held on 27-28 June 2001. The panel is scheduled to release its report publicly in October 2001,

Disputes in which Australia has a Policy or Economic Interest (7)

Japan:  Measures affecting agricultural products (Varietal testing) (WT/DS76)

At the June DSB meeting, Japan advised that it was proceeding with the necessary internal consultative procedures to implement the new quarantine methodology. Specifically, it was holding a series of informal public consultations with interested parties, in preparation for a more formal public hearing around mid-July. Japan expected these internal processes to be completed by the end of July 2001, at which time it would be in a position to notify the DSB of its implementation. 

EC:  Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas (WT/DS27)

As previously reported both the US and Ecuador have announced bilateral agreements with the EC in this dispute.  Accordingly, the US on 1 July 2001 suspended its retaliatory 100% tariffs on imports into the US of certain certain EC products.  The EC's proposed new regime is not WTO-consistent and will require the EC to obtain two waivers. The US has agreed to work actively to secure acceptance of the EC's request for the necessary WTO waivers.

Brazil:  Measures affecting patent protection  (WT/DS199)

The United States and Brazil announced on 25 June 2001 that the WTO dispute would be withdrawn and that the parties would seek to resolve the dispute through a newly established bilateral consultation mechanism. The joint communication explained that the withdrawal was without prejudice to their different interpretations of the consistency of section 68 of Brazil's industrial policy law with Brazil's obligations under TRIPS.

United States: Section 129(c)(1) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (WT/DS221) (Consultation request)

No new developments.

European Communities: Tariff rate quota on corn gluten feed from the United States (WT/DS223) (Consultation request)

In response to the US lifting the safeguard quota on wheat gluten, the EC announced on 2 June 2001 that it would discontinue its tariffs on US exports of corn gluten feed.

Canada: Patent Protection Term (WT/DS170)

No new developments. As previously reported, the arbitrator has determined that a reasonable period of time for implementation by Canada of the DSB's recommendations and rulings in relation to this matter is 10 months expiring on 12 August 2001.

Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body: June 2001

The DSB, consisting of all the Members of the WTO, met on 20 June 2001. The next regular DSB meeting will be held on 24 July 2001.  Australia uses DSB meetings to monitor progress and to register its views on disputes of interest. The agenda of the June DSB meetings was as follows (any Australian interventions are indicated):

DSB Meeting 20 June 2001

1. Implementation status reports

A. EC: Regime for the importation, sale and distribution of bananas  (WT/DS27)

B. Japan: Measures Affecting Agricultural Products (Varietal testing) (WT/DS76)

Australia noted Japan's latest status report and registered its continuing interest in this matter.

C. Turkey: Restrictions on Imports of Textile and Clothing Products (WT/DS34)

2. Statement on Implementation Action

US: Safeguard Measures on Lamb Meat from Australia and New Zealand (WT/DS211)

Australia welcomes the United States' commitment to implement the recommendations and rulings of the dispute settlement body in this dispute. Australia does, however, regret that the United States finds itself unable to comply immediately, particularly in view of the length of time that has already elapsed since the illegal safeguard measure was introduced.

Australia recalls that the DSU provides for the Member concerned to have a reasonable period of time for implementation only where it is impracticable to comply immediately with the recommendations and rulings of the DSB. We also recall that the governing principle in those situations, as developed through arbitration awards, is that the reasonable period of time should be the shortest period possible within the legal system of the Member. Australia calls on the United States not to delay implementation, but to do so at the earliest possible time.

Australia refers once again to the comprehensive nature of the rulings against the United States' actions in this case, and the fundamental inconsistencies found in the United States' approach in imposing the safeguard measure on lamb meat. Australia reiterates its view that implementation of the DSB's rulings can therefore only be achieved by the removal of the safeguard measure.

Australia welcomes the United States' readiness as stated in its notification to discuss this matter with Australia and New Zealand, in accordance with Article 21.3(B) of the DSU, which provides for the parties to the dispute to determine the reasonable period of time through mutual agreement. Australia looks forward to such discussions at the earliest possible time, in accordance with the overall objective of resolving this dispute promptly.

On a separate matter, but still relevant to this dispute, Australia notes that the United States is yet to notify to the Safeguards Committee the results of the mid-term review of the lamb meat safeguard measure, as required by the Safeguards Agreement. While this is a separate process, Australia hopes that the United States will take the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone.

3. Panel Request          

Egypt: Definitive Anti-dumping Measures on Steel Rebar from Turkey (WT/DS211)

At the request of Turkey, a Panel was established. Chile, EC, Japan and the US reserved third party rights.

4. Panel Request          

Peru: Taxes on Cigarettes (WT/DS227)

At the request of Chile, a Panel was established. No third party rights were reserved.

5. Panel Request

US: Anti-dumping and Countervailing Measure on Steel Plate from India (WT/DS206)

Panel was not established as the United States opposed the request.

6. Panel Request          

EC: Trade description of sardines (WT/DS231)

Panel was not established as the EC opposed the request.

7. Panel Request          

EC: Anti-Dumping Duties on Iron Tube or Pipe Fittings from Brazil (WT/DS219)

Panel was not established as the EC opposed the request.

8. Remuneration of Appellate Body Members  

The Chair said he had reached the conclusion that it was not possible to reach consensus at this time.

9.  Indicative List of Panelists   

The proposed Austrian candidate was endorsed.

10. Other Business

Subscription / unsubscription information

If you want to be removed from the mailing list please send an email to wto.disputes@dfat.gov.au  with "unsubscribe" in the subject line. To subscribe please send an email to wto.disputes@dfat.gov.au  with "subscribe" in the subject line and your contact details in the body of the email. Further information on Australia's involvement in WTO dispute settlement can be found at www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/wto_disputes.html 


The Monthly Bulletin is an overview of Australian involvement in WTO Dispute Settlement from the WTO Trade Law Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade . It updates Australian involvement in specific WTO disputes and, more generally, in disputes in which Australia has a policy or economic interest. Also included are the agendas of meetings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), with specific reference to any Australian interventions.

For more information and copies of previous issues, visit Australia and WTO dispute settlement.

For more general information relating to the Doha Round of Trade negotiations, see the WTO Doha Round Bulletin.


The Monthly Bulletin is an overview of Australian involvement in WTO Dispute Settlement from the WTO Trade Law Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade . It updates Australian involvement in specific WTO disputes and, more generally, in disputes in which Australia has a policy or economic interest. Also included are the agendas of meetings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), with specific reference to any Australian interventions.

For more information and copies of previous issues, visit Australia and WTO dispute settlement.

For more general information relating to the Doha Round of Trade negotiations, see the WTO Doha Round Bulletin.


The Monthly Bulletin is an overview of Australian involvement in WTO Dispute Settlement from the WTO Trade Law Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade . It updates Australian involvement in specific WTO disputes and, more generally, in disputes in which Australia has a policy or economic interest. Also included are the agendas of meetings of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), with specific reference to any Australian interventions.

For more information and copies of previous issues, visit Australia and WTO dispute settlement.

For more general information relating to the Doha Round of Trade negotiations, see the WTO Doha Round Bulletin.