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WTO

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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…

On 23 October 2019, the WTO announced that at an informal meeting of the WTO’s Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) Committee, China introduced to the parties to the GPA its sixth revised market access offer in the context of its negotiations to join the GPA. The revised offer was circulated to GPA parties on 21 October. Chairman Carlos Vanderloo of Canada called this “a very significant development” and the parties also welcomed China’s revised offer while…

On October 18, 2019, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) will publish in the Federal Register a notice of technical adjustments to the Section 301 Action: Enforcement of U.S. WTO Rights in Large Civil Aircraft Dispute[Docket No. USTR-2019-0003] that was published in the Federal Register on October 9 (84 Fed. Reg. 54245) and will be effective on October 18. The notice makes technical changes in order to implement the intended scope of the…

On 17 October 2019, the World Trade Organization announced that it is partnering with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and World Customs Organization (WCO) in an initiative which will enable firms to take fuller advantages of benefits under free trade agreements and preferential trade arrangements by helping them comply with product rules of origin requirements. The announcement said in part: Presented to WTO members at a 17 October meeting of the Committee on Rules of…

On October 17, 2019, CBP issued CSMS #40281968 – Additional Duty on Products of the Countries of the European Union Under Large Civil Aircraft Section 301 Trade Remedy Action, which is reproduced below: BACKGROUND The U.S. Trade Representative has determined that the EU and certain member states have denied U.S. rights under the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement and have failed to implement WTO Dispute Settlement Body recommendations concerning certain subsidies to the EU large…

On 14 October 2019, the WTO announced that members agreed at a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) to authorize the United States to impose countermeasures on European Union goods and services trade with the US up to a value of USD 7,496.623 million annually. The authorization was granted in line with a WTO arbitrator decision issued on 2 October [see below]. The announcement said: The authorization was granted as a result of the…