Friday, February 25, 2011

WTO DSB Takes Several Actions

In its meeting yesterday, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) took several actions of note.

First, in the latest step in an ongoing dispute over the use by the United States of the zeroing technique in anti-dumping investigations, the DSB adopted a panel report finding once again that the United State's use of zeroing is inconsistent with its WTO obligations.  This most recent case is DS402: U.S.—Use of Zeroing in Anti-Dumping Measures Involving Products from Korea.  The United States reported that it is in the process of recalculating a number of dumping margins to bring itself into compliance.

Second, the WTO DSB deferred the establishment of panels with respect to two complaints by Canada to review bans by Belgium and the Netherlands on Canadian seal products.  The cases are DS369 and DS400: European Communities — Certain measures prohibiting the importation and marketing of seal products.

Third, the DSB also deferred the establishment of two panels requested by the United States in disputes with China - one relating to Chinese measures restricting market access to American suppliers of electronic payment services (DS413/2) and one relating to countervailing and anti-dumping duties on grain oriented flat-rolled electrical steel from the United States (DS414/2).

A member state has one opportunity to object to the establishment of such panels.  Assuming no settlement of the matter, the complainant has a right to the establishment of the panels thereafter. 

Finally, a new DSB chair has been appointed: Mrs. Elin Johansen of Norway.


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