Tuesday, April 20, 2010

WTO Opens US Zeroing Dispute to Public

Logo_en[1] At the request of the parties, the arbitrator in the United States - European Communities (EC) Zeroing dispute (DS294) will open its May 20, 2010 meeting of the parties to public viewing.  The meeting will be held at the World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland beginning at 10 a.m. local time.  Viewing spaces will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis upon completion of an application.  For more information or to find the application, click here.

The EC initiated this long-running WTO dispute in June 2003, when it requested consultations with the United States concerning a methodology known as "zeroing" which is used by the U.S., along with other WTO members, in the calculation of dumping margins. The “zeroing” methodology, generally speaking, involves treating specific price comparisons which do not show dumping as zero values in the calculation of a weighted average dumping margin. The EC asserted that in each case the dumping margin without zeroing would have been lower, de minimis or negative (most of the underlying products involved are steel products). In the EC’s view, U.S. law, regulations and practices were inconsistent with the United States’ obligations under several provisions of the WTO Agreements.  Both the panel (in 2005) and the Appellate Body (in 2006) found the United States' zeroing methodology to be inconsistent with the United States' WTO obligations under Article 2 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement.  Following the adoption of the Appellate Body report, the United States indicated its intent to bring its practices into conformity with the WTO Agreements.  The current dispute concerns the ability of the EC to impose trade sanctions for the United States' alleged failure to bring its practices into full compliance.



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