En una reunión del Órgano de Solución de Diferencias (OSD) celebrada el 24 de junio, los Miembros de la OMC accedieron a la solicitud de la Unión Europea de que se estableciera un grupo especial para examinar los derechos antidumping y compensatorios impuestos por los Estados Unidos a las aceitunas importadas de España. Los Miembros accedieron asimismo a la petición del Brasil de establecer un grupo especial para estudiar si Indonesia ha cumplido una resolución anterior de la OMC relativa a las medidas que impiden la importación de carne de pollo y productos de pollo.
DS577: United States — Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties on Ripe Olives from Spain
The European Union submitted its second request for the establishment of a dispute panel to rule on anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed by the United States on imports of ripe olives from Spain. The EU’s first request was blocked by the US at a DSB meeting on 28 May. The EU reiterated its concerns about the investigation leading to the duties and urged the US to bring the measure as well as the underlying US legislation in line with its WTO obligations. The EU said it trusts the panel can be swiftly composed and start its work.
The United States said it regretted the EU’s decision to submit a second request for the panel and reiterated its belief that the measure in question was fully consistent with WTO rules. The US also reiterated that it had serious concerns with the EU panel request as it included claims which were not addressed in the request for consultations. The US said it was prepared to engage in the panel proceedings and to explain to the panel that the EU has no legal basis for its claims.
The DSB agreed to the establishment of the panel. Japan, Australia, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Canada, China, India and Switzerland reserved their third-party rights to participate in the proceedings.
DS484: Indonesia — Measures Concerning the Importation of Chicken Meat and Chicken Products
Brazil requested the establishment of a panel to determine whether Indonesia had complied with the WTO ruling in DS484. Brazil said Indonesia has not taken the appropriate measures to adopt the ruling and continues to keep its domestic market closed to Brazilian chicken imports despite the reasonable period of time for Indonesia to implement the ruling having expired in July 2018. Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of chicken meat and chicken products and has one of the most technologically advanced chicken industries in the world, with high quality and sanitary standards, it said. However, Indonesia continues to unduly delay the approval of international health certification for chicken products and continues to maintain measures that were found inconsistent with WTO rules.
Brazil noted that under an August 2018 procedural understanding between the two parties, Indonesia agreed not to block any Brazilian request for a compliance panel should Brazil request such a panel.
Indonesia said it regretted Brazil’s decision to seek the establishment of a compliance panel but that, in line with the August 2018 understanding, it would not block Brazil’s request. Indonesia reiterated its willingness and commitment to continuing discussions with Brazil on possible solutions to this matter.
DS517: China — Tariff Rate Quotas (TRQs) for Certain Agricultural Products
China notified its intention to implement the WTO ruling in DS517 in a manner that respects its WTO obligations and said it would need a reasonable period of time to do so. China stands ready to discuss the matter with the United States, it said.
The United States thanked China for its statement and noted the TRQ measures at issue impact market access for the US and other WTO members. The US looks forward to China promptly bringing its TRQ administration in line with its WTO obligations and stands ready to agree with China on the reasonable period of time for implementation.
DS234: United States – Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000
The European Union reiterated its request that the United States cease transferring anti-dumping and countervailing duties to the US domestic industry, arguing that every such disbursement was a clear act of non-compliance with the rulings on this matter. Brazil and Canada supported the EU statement, while the United States said it has taken all actions necessary to implement the ruling.
DS316: European Communities and Certain Member States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft: Implementations of the recommendations adopted by the DSB
The United States said that once again the European Union has failed to provide a status report to the DSB concerning dispute DS316. The European Union repeated that the matter is subject to new compliance proceedings and thus there was no obligation on the EU to submit a status report.
Appellate Body appointments
Mexico, speaking on behalf of 75 members, introduced the group’s proposal to start the selection processes for six vacancies in the Appellate Body – the four existing vacancies plus the two vacancies that will arise when the second terms of Appellate Body members Ujal Bhatia and Thomas Graham end on 10 December. Mexico said the considerable number of members submitting the proposal reflects a common concern over the current situation in the Appellate Body that is seriously affecting its workings as well as the workings of the overall dispute settlement system against the best interest of members. WTO members have a responsibility to safeguard and preserve the Appellate Body, the dispute settlement system and the multilateral trading system, Mexico said.
The United States responded that it was still not in a position to support the proposal and that the systemic concerns that it previously identified remain unaddressed. It reiterated concerns over the Appellate Body’s alleged persistent overreach, disregard for deadlines, and authorization of Appellate Body members to decide appeals even after their term of office has expired. Not only have the US concerns not been addressed, the Appellate Body in fact continues to engage in these practices that contravene the clear rules WTO members set out in the Dispute Settlement Understanding, it said. The US will continue to insist that WTO rules be followed and will continue efforts and discussions to seek a solution.
Nearly 20 members took the floor, on their own behalf or on behalf of groups of WTO members, to express growing concern over the impasse in the selection process, which has now continued for more than two years. Several cited the increasing urgency to find a solution and the need for all members to play an active part in the discussions on overcoming the impasse being facilitated by the DSB chair. They also said that Article 17.2 of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Understanding imposed an obligation on members to fill vacancies in the Appellate Body as they arise, and that the selection process and the concerns regarding the Appellate Body’s actions should not be linked.
The DSB chair, Ambassador David Walker of New Zealand, said the matter urgently requires meaningful engagement by all WTO members and is becoming more urgent with each passing day. He noted that he reported to the WTO’s General Council on 7 May regarding his informal process to overcome the impasse and that he would continue his discussions with members before reporting back again to the General Council on 23 July.
Surveillance of implementation
The United States presented status reports with regard to DS184, «US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan», DS160, «United States — Section 110(5) of US Copyright Act», DS464, «United States — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Large Residential Washers from Korea», DS471, «United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China» and DS488, «US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Oil Country Tubular Goods from Korea».
The European Union presented a status report with regard to DS291, «EC — Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products».
Indonesia presented its status reports in DS484, «Indonesia — Measures Concerning the Importation of Chicken Meat and Chicken Products», and DS477 and DS478, «Indonesia — Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products».
The next meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 22 July.
More information on WTO dispute settlement is available here.