Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Dec09/16)
Third World Network
panel set on Chinese export measures
in SUNS #6840 dated 22 December 2009
21 Dec (Kanaga Raja) -- The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on Monday
agreed to establish a single panel to rule on measures imposed by China
related to the exportation of various raw materials.
panel requests were made in respect of this dispute, namely, from the
United States, the
European Communities and Mexico.
was a second-time request and panel establishment was automatic. Argentina, Colombia,
Korea, Canada, Brazil,
Ecuador, Japan, Turkey,
Norway and Chinese
Taipei reserved their third-party rights to the dispute; so did the
and the European Union in the disputes raised by the other two.
dispute is with respect to China's restraints on the exportation from China of various
forms of bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide,
silicon metal, yellow phosphorus, and zinc (referred to as the "materials"
in the compliant).
complaints argued that China subjects
the exportation of bauxite, coke, fluorspar, silicon carbide, and zinc
to quantitative restrictions such as quotas. They also said that China
subjects the materials to export duties. In addition to the export
quotas and export duties, China imposes other restraints on the exportation
of the materials, administers its measures in a manner that is not
uniform, impartial, and reasonable, imposes excessive fees and formalities
on exportation, and does not publish certain measures pertaining to
requirements, restrictions, or prohibitions on exports, said the complainants.
a statement at the DSB, the US reiterated
that it is concerned about Chinese measures that restrain the exportation
of certain raw materials that are critical to US manufacturing industries.
These restraints not only limit the availability of these raw materials,
but also increase the cost of these raw materials to the US
and other producers outside of China, while providing an artificial cost advantage
to downstream industries within China.
European Union said that the Chinese export restraints on raw materials
are by no means a recent phenomenon. The restraints were a problem
at the time of China's accession
to the WTO and they remain so today. In expressing disappointment at
the requests for panel establishment, China
said that such action is not conducive to the solution of this matter.
It voiced certain concerns with the way in which the three complainants
have framed their panel requests. It said that it will seek a preliminary
ruling on the consistency of the requests with Article 6.2 of the DSU.
other actions, under the surveillance agenda item in relation to the
regime for the importation, sale and distribution of bananas, second
recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by Ecuador, the European
Union in its status report said that it was glad to report that it has
reached a historical agreement with Latin American banana suppliers
said that these agreements provide for final settlement of all current
disputes regarding the EU import regime for bananas upon certification
of a new EU tariff schedule on bananas. It added that it has now started
internal procedures for the authorization of the signature and provisional
application of the agreement, pending the conclusion of ratification
Chair of the DSB said that this item will be kept on the agenda and
will be dealt with at the next meeting of the DSB.
under other business, Brazil informed the DSB that, on the basis of
complete data related to fiscal year 2008 and calendar year 2008, obtained
from the United States
and other sources indicated by the Arbitrator, the total amount of
counter-measures authorized to Brazil
would be $829.3 million. On the basis of the same period, the threshold
above which Brazil
is entitled to take counter-measures in other sectors and agreements
outside trade in goods would be $561 million. +
TO MAIN | ONLINE
BOOKSTORE | HOW TO ORDER