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WTO Dispute Settlement Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin: April 2001

Australia Wins WTO Case on Lamb

Australia and WTO Dispute Settlement

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Trade Minister Mark Vaile has welcomed the ruling by the
World Trade Organization's Appellate Body that the United States' import
restrictions on lamb are illegal, saying it is a vindication of the
Government's action in challenging the US measures.

In its report released on 1 May 2001, the Appellate Body
upheld the Panel's findings that the United States safeguard measure on
imported lamb meat was inconsistent with obligations under the GATT 1994 and
the Agreement on Safeguards. The
Appellate Body also made an additional finding in Australia's favour that the
United States acted inconsistently by failing to demonstrate a threat of
serious injury in applying the measure.

The Appellate Body has comprehensively confirmed all of the
findings of the WTO panel, that the US has acted inconsistently with its WTO
obligations, Mr Vaile said.

Taken with the recent WTO decision on Korea's beef import
restrictions, this decision on lamb confirms the value of the WTO dispute
settlement system and underlines the Government's commitment to using the
system to fully protect and advance Australia's interests.

The next step would be for the United States to implement
the WTO rulings. Under the WTO rules,
the United States has a reasonable period of time to bring its measure into
WTO-conformity. Australia has recourse
to accelerated procedures to examine any implementation action taken by the
United States. Australia also has
rights to seek compensation or to impose retaliation in the event the United
States fails to implement.

Australia as a Complainant (3)

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

On 19 April 2001 Australia,
United States (US) and Korea agreed on a reasonable period of time for Korea to
implement the recommendations of the DSB, expiring on 10 September 2001. The
DSB was formally notified of the agreement on 24 April 2001. Korea has agreed
to consult with Australia and the US during this period with respect to Korea's
implementation. Specifically, Korea has agreed to notify Australia and the US
of any proposed measures and to afford both Members an opportunity to comment
on any proposed measures prior to their taking effect.

Korea Beef - Agreement Reached on Implementation
Media release by the Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, 23 April
2001. Korea
Beef - Delivering trade
liberalisation from the border
to the butcher's shop
- a backgrounder on the result.

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

On 1 May 2001, the Appellate Body upheld the Panel's
findings that the United States safeguard measure on imported lamb meat was

Rules for Australia Again on Lamb
, Media release
by the Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, 2 May 2001, and background to the case Summary
of the Appellate Body's
, 1 May 2001

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

No new developments.

Disputes involving Australia as a Third Party (11)

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

No new developments. The Panel was
established at the 12 March DSB meeting.

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 Panel's report on the WTO
consistency of the revised US measures, due on 23 March 2001, has been

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

The composition of the Article
21.5 compliance panel was announced on 12 April 2001. The panel was established
to examine US and New Zealand complaints that Canada's implementation measures
relating to the exportation of dairy products remained WTO-inconsistent.
Australia, the EC and Mexico have reserved their third party rights. The panel
is composed of Mr Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann (Chairman), Mr Guillermo Aguilar
Alvarez and Mr Peter Palečka. The Chairman of the original panel, Mr Tommy
Koh, was unavailable and was replaced by Mr Palečka. Australia is required to submit its third
party submission by 18 May 2001. Third party written submissions are due on 18
May 2001.

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

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 is 12 months from the adoption of
the report, which expires on 27 July 2001.

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

On 12 April 2001 the US and EC
formally notified the DSB that it had agreed on a reasonable period of time to
implement the DSB recommendations and rulings of 4 months and 14 days expiring
on 2 June 2001.

United States: Measures treating export restraints as subsidies

No new developments. As previously reported the Panel was
established on 11 September 2000 and its membership constituted on 23 October

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

The Panel has held its first
hearing with all parties.

United States: Tax Treatment for Foreign Sales Corporations

No new developments. As
previously reported the Article 21.5 compliance panel, established to review
the WTO consistency of the revised US FSC scheme, has advised that it expects
to complete its work by July 2001.

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

The Article 21.5 compliance panel established to examine the WTO consistency
of Brazil's implementation measures relating to export finance programs for
aircraft held its oral hearing on 4-5 April 2001.

Canada: Export credits and loans guarantees for regional aircraft

No new developments. As previously reported a WTO panel was
established on 12 March 2001 to examine Brazil's complaint that the export
credits and export financing provided by Canada to its regional aircraft
industry are WTO-inconsistent.

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

EC: Measures affecting the prohibition of asbestos and asbestos products (WT/DS135)

At its meeting on 5 April 2001 the DSB adopted the
Appellate Body report and the Panel report as modified by the Appellate Body
Report in this dispute. The reports
address a number of important issues including like products and
non-violation. The findings are relevant to domestic proposals to control
imports and usage of asbestos in Australia.

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

No new developments.

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

The EC and the United States
announced on 11 April 2001 that they had reached a bilateral agreement in this
dispute. The agreement provides that a transitional regime with quotas
allocated to traders based on historic trade levels will apply from 1 July 2001
and that a tariff-only system will be implemented by 2006. It continues a
sub-quota reserved for bananas of ACP origin, but at a reduced level. The EC's
proposed new regime is not WTO-consistent, and will require that the EC obtain
a GATT Article XIII waiver to reserve a particular tariff quota for bananas of
ACP origin as well as a renewal of a waiver from Article I for tariff
preferences for ACP bananas. The US has agreed to work actively to secure
acceptance of the EC's request for the necessary WTO waivers.

On 17 April 2001, Ecuador
requested consultations with the EC to clarify the scope of the bilateral
agreement with respect to the WTO-consistency of the European banana import
regime proposed therein and the manner in which it affects Ecuador's rights
under the GATT 1994 and the GATS. Ecuador and the EC subsequently announced a bilateral settlement on 30
April 2001.

Brazil: Measures affecting patent protection (WT/DS199)

No new developments.

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

No new developments.

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

No new developments.

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.

Quantitative Restrictions on Imports of Agricultural, Textile and Industrial
Products (WT/DS90)

As part of its implementation
measures in this dispute, India has removed the remaining quantitative
restrictions on imports of agricultural, textile and industrial products. A
recent press report on the removal of the quantitative restrictions (Australian Financial Review 20/4/01
p.26) highlighted a number of different Australian companies who were
benefiting from the increased market access in areas such as fresh fruit,
macadamia nuts and wine.

of the Dispute Settlement Body: April 2001

The DSB, consisting of all the Members of the WTO, met on 5
and 26 April 2001. The next regular DSB meeting will be held on 16 May
2001. Australia uses DSB meetings to
monitor progress and to register its views on disputes of interest. The agendas
of the April DSB meetings were as follows (any Australian interventions are

DSB Meeting 5 April 2001

  • Surveillance of implementation of recommendations adopted by
    the DSB

European Communities: Regime for the importation, sale and distribution
of bananas (WT/DS27)

Japan: Measures Affecting Agricultural Products (Varietal testing)

Australia registered its
continuing interest in this issue

India: Quantitative Restrictions on Imports of Agricultural, Textile
and Industrial Products (WT/DS70)

Turkey: Restrictions on Imports of Textile and Clothing Products

  • Implementation action

European Communities: Anti-dumping Duties on Imports
of Cotton-Type Bed-Linen from India (WT/DS141)

  • Adoption of Panel and Appellate Body reports

EC: Measures Affecting the Prohibition of Asbestos and Asbestos
Products (WT/DS135)

Thailand: Anti-Dumping Duties on Angles, Shapes and Sections of Iron or
Non-Alloy Steel; H-Beams from Poland (WT/DS122)

  • Appointment of Appellate Body Members

This item consisted of a discussion on
the timeframe for the appointment of Appellate Body Members. Australia called
for sufficient flexibility at the front end of the process to ensure that there
was an appropriate pool of nominations. The following time frame and process
was agreed between Members:

17 April 2001
Invitation to forward nominations

to the Director-General

29 June 2001
Close of nominations

July 2001
Committee to commence work

(allowing for an extension of the

deadline for nominations by the DSB

if necessary)

Northern DSB decision on
Summer break

  • Other Business

Statement by Philippines in
relation to Philippines Measures
Affecting Trade and Investment in the Motor Vehicle Sector,
complaint by
the United States (WT/DS195/1).

Special DSB Meeting - 26 April 2001

  • Thailand: Anti-Dumping Duties on Angles,
    Shapes and Sections of Iron or Non-Alloy Steel; H-Beams from Poland,
    by Poland(WT/DS122).
    • Implementation of the recommendations of
      the DSB
  • United States Anti-Dumping Measures on
    Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan
    , complaint by Japan
    • Report of the
      Panel (WT/DS184/R)

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disputes and, more generally, in disputes in which Australia has a policy or
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Last Updated: 9 January 2013
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