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WTO Dispute Settlement Bulletin

Monthly Bulletin: January 2004

Australia and WTO dispute settlement

In this issue


Recent Developments

United States: Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (the "Byrd
Amendment") (WT/DS217 and WT/DS234)

Australia has agreed to allow the United States until 27 December 2004 to
bring its Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act (known as the "Byrd
Amendment") into compliance with its WTO obligations. The US has agreed
to continue its efforts in this respect. Thailand and Indonesia have also
entered into similar agreements with the US. In the meantime, eight of the
ten other co-complainants in this dispute have requested authorisation to
retaliate against the US. Owing to the US objections as to the level of retaliation
proposed, these requests will be referred to arbitration. The arbitrator's
decision is expected over the next few weeks.

United States – Final Countervailing Duty Determination With Respect
to Certain Softwood Lumber Products from Canada (WT/DS257)

On 19 January the WTO Appellate Body circulated its report in this dispute,
upholding the findings of the Panel that the US was not in violation of the
Subsidies Agreement and related GATT provisions in its determination that
Canadian softwood lumber producers were receiving subsidies. The Appellate
Body did however reverse some of the Panel's findings with regard to
the "benefit" conferred by the subsidy and recommended that the
DSB request the US to bring measures found inconsistent into conformity with
its obligations under the relevant Agreements. Canada brought this complaint
in 2002, alleging that countervailing duties imposed by the US against imports
of Canadian softwood lumber were based on a WTO-inconsistent subsidy determination.

Australia as a Complainant

European Communities (EC): Export Subsidies on Sugar (WT/DS/265)

Panel processes are now underway. The Panel is scheduled to report towards
the end of 2004.

European Communities: Protection of Trademarks and Geographical Indications
for Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs (WT/DS290)

No new developments. Discussions on panel composition are continuing.

United States: Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (the "Byrd
Amendment") (WT/DS217 and WT/DS234)

See item under "Recent developments".

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
Fruit (WT/DS/271)

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 has been established but not yet composed.

Disputes Involving Australia as a Third Party

EC: Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products
(WT/DS291, 292 and 293)

No new developments. Discussions on panel composition are continuing.
A panel was established in this dispute in August 2003 at the request of the
United States, Canada and Argentina for an examination of 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.

Canada: Measures Relating to Exports of Wheat (WT/DS276)

Media reporting suggests that the Panel issued its report to the parties
in early February 2004. Public release of the report is expected to follow
in coming weeks. Australia's third party submission in this dispute
is available at:
/trade/negotiations/disputes/aust_3psub.html

US: Subsidies on Upland Cotton (WT/DS267)

The panel report is expected to be issued mid 2004. Australia's third
party submissions
to the Panel
are available.

Mexico: Measures Affecting Telecommunications Services (WT/DS204)

The Panel expects to circulate its report shortly. This dispute was
brought by the United States, which alleges that Mexico has failed to implement
its GATS commitments with regard to the supply of basic telecommunications
services.

European Communities (EC): Measures Affecting Meat and Meat Products
(Hormones) (WT/DS26)

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

No new developments. A mutually satisfactory temporary agreement between
the United States and the EC was notified to the DSB in June 2003.

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

No new developments. The EC has adopted a scheme of countermeasures
that would be imposed gradually from March 2004 onwards on US products if
the US does not bring the FSC/ETI legislation into compliance with its WTO
obligations.

Japan: Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples (WT/DS245)

Japan has indicated that it will implement the recommendations and will consult
with the United States on the reasonable period of time to do so. The Panel
and Appellate Body reports in this dispute were adopted on 10 December 2003.

Meetings of the Dispute Settlement Body: January
2004

The next regular DSB meeting is scheduled for 17 February 2004.

General DSB Meeting - 23 January

Two panels were established at this meeting. Korea requested the establishment
of panels in relation to its complaints against the EC (WT/DS299) and the
United States (WT/DS296) with regard to countervailing duty investigations
and countervailing measures on dynamic random access memory semiconductors
(DRAMS) from Korea. Japan, China and Chinese Taipei reserved third party rights
in both disputes and the EC and the United States reserved third party rights
in the other's dispute. For more detail on the 23
January DSB meeting
, visit the WTO website.

Special DSB meetings – 9 and 26 January

At the request of Honduras, a panel was established in the matter of Dominican
Republic – Measures affecting the importation and internal sale of cigarettes
(WT/DS302) at the special 9 January DSB meeting. The DSB also adopted the
Panel and Appellate Body reports in United States – Sunset review of
anti-dumping duties on corrosion-resistant carbon steel flat products from
Japan (WT/DS244). The 26 January special DSB meeting was devoted to eight
requests for authorisation to retaliate against the United States in the "Byrd
Amendment" dispute. The DSB granted authorisation to the complainants
to suspend concessions or other obligations. The amount in which retaliation
is authorised will be determined by arbitration over the next few weeks. For
more detail on the 9
January DSB meeting
, see the WTO website and for the 26
January meeting
.


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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.

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Last Updated: 9 January 2013
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