Tuesday, February 10, 2009

WTO Appellate Body Issues 2008 Annual Report

The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued its Annual Report for 2008 yesterday.  The report summarizes the work of the Appellate Body over the course of the year.  Out of fifteen WTO panels reports that were finalized in 2008, thirteen were appealled to the Appellate Body, representing a sharp increase in activity.  Historically, 68 percent of all WTO panel decisions have been appealed to the Appellate Body. Ten of the appeals filed in 2008 were original appeals from WTO panel decisions and three related to lack of implementation of WTO panel decisions filed pursuant to Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). 

The United States was the most frequent user of the WTO appellate process - it was a named party in six of the thirteen appeals.  The European Union was the second most frequently named party, appearing in five proceedings.

The Appellate Body circulated twelve reports in 2008.  Once again, the United States was the most frequently appearing party.  Since its inception, the Appellate Body has issued a total of 96 reports, which averages out to approximately eight reports per year.

The most frequent WTO agreements that were the subject of disputes include the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994, the Anti-Dumping Agreement, and the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.

The full text of the Annual Report for 2008 can be found at: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/ab_annual_report08_e.doc

(cgb)

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