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WTO

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On 2 December 2020, the WTO announced that Switzerland and the United Kingdom have completed the final step for making their respective participation in the revised Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) effective. As of 1 January 2021, the revised GPA will be in force for Switzerland, and the UK will be a party to the accord in its own right. The announcement said: Switzerland submitted the so-called “instrument of acceptance” to the WTO on 2 December.…

On 9 November 2020, the Official Journal published Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2020/1646 of 7 November 2020 on commercial policy measures concerning certain products from the United States of America following the adjudication of a trade dispute under the Dispute Settlement Understanding of the World Trade Organization. On 11 April 2019, the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organization (‘WTO’) adopted its recommendations and rulings in the dispute DS353 United States – Measures Affecting Trade in…

On 13 October 2020, a WTO arbitrator issued its decision on the level of countermeasures the European Union may request with respect to 16-year old dispute with the United States involving subsidies to Boeing in “United States — Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft — Second Complaint” (DS353). The United States had previously won a parallel case involving European subsidies to Airbus and assessed tariffs against European goods worth approximately USD 7.4 Bn. In…

On 9 October 2020, the WTO announced the second round of formal negotiations for a multilateral agreement on investment facilitation for development, held on 8-9 October 2020, showed a high level of engagement by participating members who found significant common ground to advance in line with the agreed agenda. Participating members — currently 105 — engaged in a constructive discussion with a view to achieving a concrete outcome by the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC12)…

The WTO announced that at a meeting of the Committee on Government Procurement on 7 October, parties to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) invited the United Kingdom to complete the remaining steps to join the Agreement in its own right following its departure from the European Union. They also applauded Brazil for submitting the first documentation required to start negotiations to join the Agreement. At the meeting, GPA parties adopted a decision granting the UK…

On 15 September 2020, the WTO panel reviewing “United States — Tariff Measures on Certain Goods from China” (DS543) released its panel report, which found that the section 301 tariffs imposed by the US against certain Chinese goods were prima facie inconsistent with various provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). For the reasons set forth in the Report, the Panel concluded that: a. the parties have not reached a mutually satisfactory…

On August 18, 2020, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a document indicating that the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) requests comments and will hold a public hearing [Docket Number USTR-2020-0033] to assist the USTR in the preparation of its annual report to Congress on China’s implementation of its obligations as a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Due to COVID-19, the TPSC will foster public…

On August 13, 2020, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a document indicating that the interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) requests comments and will hold a public hearing [Docket Number USTR-2020-0032] to assist the USTR in the preparation of its annual report to Congress on Russia’s implementation of its obligations as a Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Due to COVID-19, the TPSC will foster public…

The European Commission launched a major review of the European Union’s trade policy, including a public consultation seeking input from the European Parliament, Member States, stakeholders and civil society. The Commission’s objective is to build a consensus around a fresh medium-term direction for EU trade policy, responding to a variety of new global challenges and taking into account the lessons learned from the coronavirus crisis. The consultation covers all relevant topics to the EU trade…

On 24 July 2020, the European Commission announced that at a meeting of the WTO Trade Policy Review Body, the European Union, backed by ten other members of the World Trade Organization (Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Republic of Korea and Switzerland), submitted a joint communication calling for more transparency in respect of trade-related measures introduced by partners around the world in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The aim is to…