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WTO

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Global Affairs Canada published a notice in the Canada Gazette of February 29, 2020, regarding a public consultation on a WTO framework on investment facilitation for development.In November 2019, 98 WTO members, including Canada, endorsed a new joint ministerial statement in Shanghai, committing to work towards a concrete outcome regarding the framework on investment facilitation for development at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference in June 2020. The discussions about investment facilitation for development are about…

On February 14, 2020, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) announced that USTR was issuing a notice in the Federal Register making adjustments to its WTO-authorized retaliation action relating to the Large Civil Aircraft case, which was implemented on October 18, 2019. The announcement stated that the United States is increasing the additional duty rate imposed on aircraft imported from the EU to 15% from 10%, effective March 18, 2020, and making certain…

On February 11, 2020, the US Trade Representative announced that it is issuing a Report on the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization. USTR states that this Report is the first comprehensive study of the Appellate Body’s record and it provides an in-depth assessment of the “Appellate Body’s failure to comply with WTO rules and interpret WTO agreements as written.” As detailed in this Report, the Appellate Body has strayed far from the limited…

On January 24, 2020, 17 WTO members issued a statement agreeing to establish a temporary system for appealing WTO disputes. They reached an agreement during the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The WTO members include Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the European Union, Guatemala, South Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay. Canada and the EU had earlier established a separate interim appeals procedure. The statement indicated…

On December 23, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice setting the US dollar procurement thresholds to implement certain US trade agreement obligations, as of January 1, 2020, for calendar years 2020 and 2021. Executive Order 12260 requires the USTR to set the US dollar procurement thresholds for application of Title III of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, as amended (TAA; 19 U.S.C. 2511 et…

A period of uncertainty is currently affecting the WTO dispute settlement system: Its Appellate Body is normally composed of seven members but currently only has three, the minimum number to function. On 10 December 2019, the mandates of two of the remaining three Appellate Body members expire and the organization will no longer be able to decide on appeals in trade disputes between WTO members. The process to fill the vacancies has faltered in 2016…

The Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) has posted on its website an advance copy of a Federal Register notice [Docket No. USTR-2019-0003] that advises the public that USTR is reviewing the action being taken in the Section 301 investigation involving the enforcement of U.S. WTO rights in the Large Civil Aircraft dispute. Annex I to the notice contains a list of products currently subject to 10% or 25% additional duties (See 84 Fed.…

On 6 December 2019, the WTO announced that at a meeting of the full WTO membership on 6 December, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo emphasised that for dispute settlement as for rule-making, the choices members make in the coming months would be consequential for the future of the multilateral trading system. He also welcomed a compromise reached in the Committee on Budget, Finance and Administration on the WTO’s budget for 2020. In his remarks, the Director-General said…

On 3 December 2019, the WTO announced that Kazakhstan’s application to start negotiating its accession to the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) was announced at a meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement on 3 December 2019. Currently, 48 WTO members (including the European Union and its 28 member states) are bound by the Agreement. Australia is the latest member to have acceded to the Agreement earlier in 2019.  The WTO announcement said that Kazakhstan’s WTO membership terms, which…

On 1 November 2019, a WTO arbitrator issued a decision on the level of countermeasures that China may request with respect to the United States in the case “United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China” [DS 471].  DS 471 found that the US calculation of anti-dumping duties on 25 different Chinese products was not in accordance with the WTO agreements. Specifically, the WTO struck down the US use of…