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WTO

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On August 14, 2019, the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice of public hearing and request for comments [Docket No. USTR-2019-0011] regarding Russia’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) invites interested persons to submit written comments and participate in a public hearing to assist the Office of the USTR in the preparation of its annual report to the Congress on Russia’s…

On August 14, 2019, the US Trade Representative (USTR) published in the Federal Register a notice of public hearing and request for comments [Docket No. USTR-2019-0010] regarding China’s compliance with its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments. The interagency Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC) invites interested persons to submit written comments and participate in a public hearing to assist the Office of the USTR in the preparation of its annual report to the Congress on China’s…

On August 9, 2019, the Department of Defense (DoD) published in the Federal Register a final rule [Docket DARS–2019–0037] that amends the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) to add Australia as a new World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement (WTO GPA) country. On October 17, 2018, the WTO Committee on Government Procurement approved the accession of Australia to the WTO GPA. Australia submitted its instrument of accession to the Secretary-General of the WTO on…

On August 5, 2019, President Trump issued Executive Order 13884 (“Venezuela EO”) blocking all property of the Government of Venezuela (“GOV”), a significant escalation of sanctions against the regime of President Maduro. Statements issued by the White House and State Department indicate that this escalation is meant to target the Maduro regime for its continued abuses of human rights and repression. The US Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) concurrently issued 12 amended general licenses and 13 new…

On April 9, 2019, the World Trade Organization released the Panel Report in United States – Anti-Dumping Measures Applying Differential Pricing Methodology to Softwood Lumber from Canada, WT/DS534/RThe decision addresses particular aspects of the US Department of Commerce’s methodology for calculating antidumping duties under the Antidumping Agreement (the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994).  In some ways, the decision reiterates already-established principles – for example, Commerce may address perceived “targeted dumping” through the use of “zeroing” in its calculations.  In other ways, the decision sets up changes that may be necessary in the margin calculations.  After the 60-day period for appeal passes, it will be clearer whether the decision will affect future proceedings and if there is a new avenue for foreign producers to challenge Commerce’s practice domestically.

[Update to April 8 article below] On April 12, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of investigation, hearing, and request for comments [Docket No. USTR–2019–0003] regarding enforcement of US rights in the World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute against the European Union (EU) and certain EU member States addressed to EU subsidies on large civil aircraft.

On 5 April 2019, the WTO circulated the panel report in Russia – Measures Concerning Traffic In Transit (DS512). The decision is the first time that a WTO panel has had to decide the extent of WTO jurisdiction over a claim by a Member that its actions were appropriate under Article XXI, the essential security exemption from WTO rules. Ukraine brought the dispute in September 2016 after the Russian Federation imposed restrictions preventing Ukraine from using roads and railways to trade goods with several former Soviet republics. Ukraine claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with: