Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Mar16/16)
31 March 2016
Third World Network
Serious concern voiced over US non-implementation of DSB rulings
Published in SUNS #8209 dated 29 March 2016
Geneva, 24 Mar (D. Ravi Kanth) - Several countries reminded the United
States on Wednesday (23 March) at the World Trade Organization that
Washington's continued failure to comply with and implement the Dispute
Settlement Body recommendations in trade disputes remains a source
of "serious" and "systemic" concern, trade diplomats
told the SUNS.
At a WTO's regular Dispute Settlement Body meeting, Mexico sought
authorization for slapping trade retaliatory measures to the tune
of US$472.3 million on American goods because of Washington's repeated
failures to comply with the DSB's recommendation in the long-drawn
dispute over import and sale of tuna and tuna products from Mexico.
A day before the DSB meeting, the US objected to Mexico's request
for the level of trade retaliatory measures of US$472.3 million in
the tuna dispute under Article 22.6 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding.
The arbitration on Mexico's level of retaliation will now go before
the original panel if it is available, or to an arbitrator appointed
by the WTO's director-general, for the arbitration exercise to be
completed within 60 days.
But more importantly, the DSB's monthly agenda has invariably listed
the following trade disputes in which the US has failed to implement
the DSB's recommendations: (i) US anti-dumping measures on certain
hot-rolled steel products from Japan; (ii) US Section 110 (5) of the
US Copyright Act; (iii) US anti-dumping measures on certain shrimp
products from Vietnam; (iv) US countervailing measures on certain
hot-rolled carbon steel flat products from India; (v) US Continued
Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 (Byrd Amendment).
At the DSB meeting on Wednesday, the EU, Japan, and India among others
told the US that WTO-inconsistent disbursements to the American domestic
industry continue unabated under the Byrd Amendment.
India highlighted its "significant concerns" about the steps
taken so far by the US for implementing the DSB recommendations in
the dispute concerning the countervailing duties on the Indian hot-rolled
carbon steel products.
India said "even after 16 months of adoption of the Panel and
Appellate Body Report and the RPT [reasonable period of time] almost
coming to an end shortly, the US seems to have made no efforts to
repeal or amend Section 1677(7)(G) of its domestic law as to bring
it into conformity with Articles 15.1, 15.2, 15.3 and 15.5 of the
SCM Agreement, despite the categorical finding and recommendation
of the Appellate Body to this effect."
"The failure to initiate any good faith efforts in this direction,
with the RPT deadline being so close now, is a cause for serious and
systemic concern," India maintained.
The number of cases in which the US has not implemented the DSB recommendations
stands like an eyesore in the WTO's dispute settlement jurisprudence,
several trade diplomats told the SUNS.
The US has alleged that China has not implemented the DSB recommendations
in certain restrictive measures it imposed on the electronic payment
But Washington's serial behaviour for not providing justice in trade
remedy cases and other disputes, particularly those raised by developing
countries, is contributing to growing lawlessness in the enforcement
of WTO rulings, several trade diplomats told the SUNS.