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WTO Dispute Settlement Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin: February 2001

Australia and WTO Dispute Settlement

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Australia as a Complainant

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

At the 1
February 2001 meeting of the DSB, Korea confirmed its intentions to comply with
DSB recommendations in the beef case, but indicated that it was examining its
implementation options in relation to findings on the dual retail system. Korea also confirmed it will require a
reasonable period of time for implementation and indicated its willingness to
consult with Australia and the United States (the other complainant in this
dispute) on this issue. Australia
welcomed Korea's advice that it intends to implement the DSB recommendations
and confirmed Australia's willingness to discuss with Korea issues relating to
implementation and reasonable period of time. Australia's full statement is set out below.
Korea, Australia and the US are currently engaged in
consultations on a reasonable period of time.

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

On 31 January
2001, the US appealed the Panel's findings against safeguard tariff measures
imposed by the United States on Australian and New Zealand lamb exports.
Australia, in response, lodged a cross-appeal on certain other findings of the
Panel. Australia's appellee submission was lodged on 26 February. The Australian submissions are available on
the DFAT website
.

The WTO
Appellate Body will consider both appeals, with the hearing to be held in late
March. The Appellate Body, in accordance with established procedures, will
issue its report by 1 May 2001 (within 90 days of the initial notice of
appeal).

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

Dispute
settlement consultations with the US over the US trade remedy legislation that,
inter alia, provides for dumping and subsidy offsets - the Byrd Amendment -
were held on 5 February in Geneva. The US confirmed that it intends to proceed
with implementation of the statute by the required date of 29 November 2001 and
will defend the measure against any WTO action.

Disputes
involving Australia as a Third Party

EC: Beef hormones (WT/DS26)

No new developments since last update.

United States:
Restrictions on shrimps (the shrimp/turtle" case) (WT/DS58)

The Panel
expects to issue to the parties its final report on the WTO consistency of the
revised US measures in the second half of March.

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

At the 1
February DSB meeting, the US and New Zealand challenged Canada's claim to have
brought its regime into full compliance. On 16 February the US and New Zealand requested the establishment of an
Article 21.5 compliance panel to review compliance by Canada. On the same day they both requested
authorisation from the DSB to suspend the application to Canada of tariff concessions
and related obligations under GATT 1994, each covering trade in the amount of
US$35 million on an annual basis.

United States:
"Homestyle" Copyright Legislation (WT/DS160)

No new
developments since last update.

United States:
Safeguard measures on wheat gluten (WT/DS166)

On 16 February
the US confirmed that it intends to implement the DSB recommendations and
rulings in a manner that respects WTO obligations and that it will require a
reasonable period of time to do so.

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

No new developments since last update.

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

No new
developments since last update.

United States:
Foreign Sales Corporations (FSC) taxation measures (WT/DS108)

Australia's
third party submission to the Article 21.5 compliance panel reviewing the EC's
challenge to the WTO consistency of the revised US FSC scheme was filed on 14 February.
US FSC arrangements, which are available for
exports to any destination, were found by the original panel to be prohibited
export subsidies. FSC subsidies affect Australia's competitive trading
opportunities in all markets. Australia's third party submission is available on the DFAT website at
www.dfat.gov.au/trade/negotiations/disputes/wto_disputes-US_FSC-Art21-5….

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

Canada
successfully challenged certain export subsides under Brazil's PROEX scheme to
foreign purchasers of Brazil's EMBRARER aircraft as prohibited subsidies. On 16
February an Article 21.5 compliance panel was established to examine the WTO
consistency of Brazil's implementation measures relating to export finance programs
for aircraft. Australia reserved its third party rights. Australia has a systemic interest in issues
of implementation and compliance, particularly in regard to export finance,
export subsidies and industry programs as well as procedural issues.

Disputes
in which Australia has a Policy or Economic Interest

Japan: Varietal testing of horticultural products
(WT/DS76)

At the 1
February DSB meeting Japan announced that following further consultations with
the US all remaining technical issues had been basically resolved. However a further procedural administrative
issue still needs to be worked out before Japan could notify the DSB of the
actual results of the consultations. Australia registered its interest in
obtaining details of the implementation outcome as soon as possible. The text of Australia's intervention is set
out below.

EC: Bananas (WT/DS27)

The latest EC
status report confirmed its intention to proceed with a rapid implementation of
its first-come, first-served system described in the EC's report as the
WTO-compatible new import regime.

EC: Measures on asbestos (WT/DS135)

No new
developments since last update.

Brazil: Measures affecting patent protection (WT/DS199)

A panel was
established on 1 February 2001.

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

On 31 January
2001 EC requested to join the consultations between Canada and the US
concerning section 129(c)(1) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) and the
Statement of Administrative Action accompanying the URAA.

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

No new
developments since last update.

Canada: Term of
patent protection (WT/DS170)

On 20 February
Canada introduced into parliament legislation to bring its Patent Act into
compliance with its TRIPS obligations. The legislation follows an unsuccessful
appeal by Canada of an earlier WTO ruling that Canada's 17 year term of protection
for certain patents was TRIPS inconsistent. The proposed legislative amendments will extend the patent term of about
30 commercially significant brand-name drugs by an average of 6 months.

Australian
nationals on WTO panels

Overall, eight
Australian nationals have served as WTO panelists and 5 Australian experts have
advised WTO panels. Last year two
Australians were selected as current WTO panelists: Paul O'Connor is a panelist
in the Article 21.5 compliance panel on Mexico:
Anti-dumping investigation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from the US
(WT/DS132), and Professor Jeffrey Waincymer was
selected as a panelist on India: Measures
affecting the automotive sector

(WT/DS146 and WT/DS175).

Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body: February 2001

The DSB,
consisting of all the members of the WTO, met on 1 and 16 February 2001. There will be a special meeting of the DSB
on 1 March to consider Canada: Measures
affecting the importation of milk and milk products
and the simultaneous US
and New Zealand requests for recourse to an Article 21.5 implementation panel
and DSB authorisation for suspension of concessions. The next regular DSB meeting will be held on 12 March 2001.
Australia uses DSB meetings to monitor
progress and to register its views on disputes of interest. The agendas of the
February DSB meetings were as follows (any Australian interventions are
indicated):

DSB Meeting 1 February 2001

1. Surveillance of implementation of recommendations adopted by the DSB

  • Status report by
    the European Communities - European
    Communities: Regime for the importation, sale and distribution of bananas
  • Status report by Japan - Japan:
    Varietal testing of horticultural products
  • Australia's statement follows:

I would just
like to make a brief comment under this item. We are one of the delegations which the Japanese delegation acknowledge
have a substantial interest in this item. We note that the reasonable period of time has now expired and we note
from the status report just provided by Japan that there is an expectation that
the agreed solution has been reached but there are some procedural matters that
remain outstanding. As we are now at
that stage, Mr. Chairman, we would certainly appreciate an elaboration by Japan
of the main elements of its proposed implementation as soon as that is
possible.

  • Status
    report by Canada
    - Canada: Measures affecting the importation of milk and the exportation of
    dairy products:
  • Status
    report by India - India: Quantitative restrictions on
    imports of agricultural, textile and industrial products
  • Status
    report by Turkey
    - Turkey: Restrictions in imports of textile and clothing products
  • Status
    report by Chile -
    Chile: Taxes on alcoholic beverages

2. Implementation action

  • Korea - Measures
    affecting imports of fresh, chilled and frozen beef

Australia's statement follows:

  • Australia welcomes
    Korea's advice that it intends to implement the DSB's recommendations and
    rulings on its measure.
  • Australia stands
    ready to discuss with Korea issues relating to implementation and a reasonable
    period of time.

3. Statement by
Brazil concerning implementation of DSB recommendations in Brazil: Export Financing (Aircraft Subsidies)

4. Panel
request - Brazil: Measures affecting patent protection

5. Panel
request -Belgium: Administration of
measures establishing customs duties for rice

6. Panel
request - Chile: Price band system and
safeguard measures

7. Recourse
to Article 21.5 by Canada - Brazil: Export Financing (Aircraft
Subsidies)

8. Adoption of
panel report - US: Safeguard measure on
imports of fresh, chilled and frozen lamb meat

9. Adoption of
panel report - US: Anti-dumping measures
on stainless steel plates from Korea

10. Proposed nominations for the indicative list of
governmental and non-governmental panelists

Special DSB Meeting 16
February 2001

1. Statement by US - US: Definitive safeguard measures on imports
of wheat gluten from the European Communities

2. Article
21.5 panel request - Brazil: Export
financing programming for aircraft

3. Adoption of panel
report - Argentina: Measures affecting the export of bovine hides and the
import of finished leather

4. Election of DSB
chairperson for 2001 - New Zealand Ambassador Roger Farrell was elected chair
of the DSB for 2001 by acclamation.

Managing
WTO Disputes: Institutional Arrangements

The WTO Trade Law Branch in the Trade
Negotiations Division takes the lead role in prosecuting and defending
Australia's interests in WTO disputes. Assistance to exporters and industry groups on WTO issues is provided
through the WTO Disputes Investigation
and Enforcement Mechanism
launched by Mr Vaile in 1999.

Under the Mechanism, any Australian
exporter can seek Government support and assistance in circumstances where
other WTO Member governments may not be honouring their obligations under the
WTO Agreements. The Mechanism sets up a
partnership between exporters and the Government to exercise Australia's WTO
rights for the benefit of exporters, and Australia as a whole. Assistance via the Mechanism is available to
all actual or would-be exporters whether as individual entities or as industry
associations, no matter the exporter's size or the product specialisation. There is no pre-qualification level for
access or any charge for use of the mechanism.

The WTO Trade
Law Branch is also available to advise State and Territory Governments on the
WTO aspects of State and Territory proposals or measures involving the use of
trade or trade related actions.

Resources permitting, the WTO Trade Law
Branch will consider requests to address business, community and educational
groups with an interest in the WTO generally, the rights and obligations of WTO
membership, the WTO's dispute settlement system and the WTO Disputes
Investigation and Enforcement Mechanism.

For more information or for assistance, contact us at
wto.disputes@dfat.gov.au
.

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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
.

Last Updated: 9 January 2013
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