Thursday, February 14, 2008
Readers who have access to the BNA's WTO Reporter can see a fuller report here. The panel's report is a preliminary ruling that is still confidential. A final ruling is expected at the end of March.
For those not familiar with the dispute, it involved the imposition of increased duties on auto parts (normally about 10%) equivalent to the duties on complete cars (normally about 25%) if the imported parts exceeded a fixed percentage of the final vehicle content. China's argument was that this was necessary in order to prevent evasion of the duty on complete cars by simply importing the parts and assembling them in China. According to the BNA report, "Officials familiar with the confidential ruling told BNA that the panel rejected nearly all of China's arguments in defense of regulations that the United States, the EU and Canada said resulted in illegal duties being imposed on imported auto parts. The panel also declined to rule on a number of claims made by the complainants on grounds of judicial economy."