Tuesday, December 22, 2009
In more WTO news, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) established a panel today to examine complaints by the United States, the European Union (EU) and Mexico regarding China's export restrictions on raw materials. It is alleged that the measures violate articles VIII, X, and XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994, as well as China's WTO Accession Protocol. Under WTO rules, there will be a 45-day period in which the panel will be set up and panelists chosen. The panel has six months in which to hear the parties' arguments and issue its decision.
Two new requests for panels were made to the WTO today - one by China to examine U.S. rules on passenger vehicle and light truck tires and one by the EU to examine Philippine taxes on distilled spirits. Both requests will be introduced a second time before a panel can be established.
The WTO also received several reports on efforts to comply with WTO DSB decisions, including an update on U.S. efforts to amend its intellectual property laws to conform to its WTO obligations. Among other measures, the U.S. reported on efforts to amend section 211 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 1998 prohibiting registration or renewal of trademarks abandoned by owners because of confiscation of property under Cuban law, and section 110(5) of the US Copyright Act, which permits the playing of certain music in public places without payment of royalties. More WTO news can be found here.