Statement by the United States at the December 17, 2012, DSB Meeting

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

A. UNITED STATES – SECTION 211 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS ACT OF 1998: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS176/11/ADD.121)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on December 6, 2012, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.
• Legislative proposals have been introduced in the current Congress to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.
• The U.S. Administration will continue to work on solutions to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings.

B. UNITED STATES – ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON CERTAIN HOT-ROLLED STEEL PRODUCTS FROM JAPAN: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS184/15/ADD.121)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on December 6, 2012, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.
• The United States has addressed the DSB’s recommendations and rulings with respect to the calculation of antidumping margins in the hot-rolled steel antidumping duty investigation at issue in this dispute.
• With respect to the recommendations and rulings of the DSB that have yet to be addressed, the U.S. Administration will work with the U.S. Congress with respect to appropriate statutory measures that would resolve this matter.

C. UNITED STATES – SECTION 110(5) OF THE US COPYRIGHT ACT: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS160/24/ADD.96)
• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on December 6, 2012, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.
• The U.S. Administration will continue to confer with the European Union, and to work closely with the U.S. Congress, in order to reach a mutually satisfactory resolution of this matter.

D. EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE APPROVAL AND MARKETING OF BIOTECH PRODUCTS: STATUS REPORT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS291/37/ADD.59)

• The United States thanks the EU for its status report and its statement today.
• As we have explained at past meetings of the DSB, the United States continues to have serious concerns regarding EU measures affecting the approval of biotech products. The EU’s failure to reach timely decisions on biotech products of the United States and other Members results in substantial restrictions on international trade.
• One source of delay results from repeated failures of the EU regulatory committee responsible for biotech products to take action on biotech products that have received positive safety assessments from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).
• EU regulatory committees typically hold meetings on a monthly basis. The United States notes with concern, however, that the EU’s biotech regulatory committee has not met since September. Moreover, no meetings appear to be scheduled through the end of the year.
• When the EU’s biotech committee does not meet for an entire calendar quarter, no action can be taken during that time on any of the dozens of pending biotech product applications.
• We urge the EU to schedule a meeting of the biotech regulatory committee in January. Further, we urge the EU to prepare the appropriate regulatory measures for products – including soybean and corn products – that have received positive EFSA assessments in 2012, and to present these measures to the committee in January.

E. UNITED STATES – ANTI-DUMPING ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEWS AND OTHER MEASURES RELATED TO IMPORTS OF CERTAIN ORANGE JUICE FROM BRAZIL: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS382/11/ADD.12)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on December 6, 2012.
• Pursuant to the sequencing agreement between Brazil and the United States,1 the United States is ready to engage with Brazil should it have any further questions regarding this matter.

G. UNITED STATES – ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON CERTAIN SHRIMP FROM VIET NAM
(WT/DS404/11/ADD.8)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on December 6, 2012, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.
• In February 2012, the U.S. Department of Commerce published a modification to its procedures in order to implement DSB recommendations and rulings regarding the use of “zeroing” in antidumping reviews. This modification addresses certain findings in this dispute.
• On June 28, 2012, the United States Trade Representative requested pursuant to section 129 of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act that the Department of Commerce take action necessary to implement the DSB recommendations and rulings in this dispute.
• The United States will continue to consult with interested parties as it works to address the recommendations and rulings of the DSB.

H. PHILIPPINES – TAXES ON DISTILLED SPIRITS: STATUS REPORT BY THE PHILIPPINES
(WT/DS396/15/ADD.1 – WT/DS403/15/ADD.2)

• The United States thanks the Philippines for its status report and its statement today.
• The United States understands that the Philippine Congress has approved a new tax system on distilled spirits.
• As the United States understands it, the new tax system will no longer base the rate of taxation on the raw material used to produce a distilled spirit.
• The United States is pleased to learn about this development. We appreciate the work by the Philippine government to pass this reform.
• The United States is continuing to review the new system, and we note that some of its effects will not be clear until it comes into operation in 2013.
• The United States is hopeful that the new system will result in full implementation of the recommendations and rulings in this dispute.

I. CHINA – MEASURES RELATED TO THE EXPORTATION OF VARIOUS RAW MATERIALS: STATUS REPORT BY CHINA (WT/DS394/19 – WT/DS395/18 – WT/DS398/17)

• The United States thanks China for its status report and statement today.
• As we have explained in previous DSB meetings, China’s full implementation of the DSB recommendations and rulings with respect to China’s trade-distorting export restraints are of major importance to the United States and other Members.
• On the one hand, the United States welcomes China’s statement that it intends to implement those recommendations and rulings.
• On the other hand, the United States is concerned that China’s status report provides no meaningful information on what steps China is taking, or intends to take, to comply with its WTO obligations.
• We further note that the reasonable period of time expires at the end of this month.
• The United States looks forward to action by China within that timeframe to comply with the DSB recommendations and rulings.

J. UNITED STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE PRODUCTION AND SALE OF CLOVE CIGARETTES: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS406/11)
• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on December 6, 2012, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.
• As noted in the status report, U.S. authorities are conferring with interested parties and working to implement the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in a manner that is appropriate from the perspective of the public health.


3. UNITED STATES – COUNTERVAILING AND ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON CERTAIN PRODUCTS FROM CHINA

A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY CHINA (WT/DS449/2)
• The United States is disappointed that China has chosen to pursue its request for a panel in this matter.
• As the United States noted at the prior meeting of the DSB, the U.S. legislative measure at issue in this dispute is fully consistent with WTO obligations. In addition, each one of the specific proceedings at issue in this dispute were conducted in a manner consistent with the WTO Agreement.
• The United States, and all other WTO Members, are within their rights under the WTO Agreement to levy countervailing duties to offset injurious subsidies bestowed by another Member on the manufacture, production, or export of goods.
• We understand that the DSB will establish a panel today in response to China’s request, and we intend to defend fully the rights of the United States to maintain the measures addressed in China’s request.

2. UNITED STATES – CONTINUED DUMPING AND SUBSIDY OFFSET ACT OF 2000: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

A. STATEMENTS BY THE EUROPEAN UNION AND JAPAN
• As the United States has explained at previous DSB meetings, the President signed the Deficit Reduction Act into law on February 8, 2006. That Act includes a provision repealing the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000. Thus, the United States has taken all actions necessary to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in these disputes.
• We recall, further, that Members have acknowledged during previous DSB meetings that the 2006 Deficit Reduction Act does not permit the distribution of duties collected on goods entered after October 1, 2007.

5. ARGENTINA – MEASURES AFFECTING THE IMPORTATION OF GOODS A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS438/11)

B. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS444/10)
C. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY JAPAN (WT/DS445/10)
D. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY MEXICO (WT/DS446/10)

• The United States understands that Argentina makes broad use of non-automatic import licensing measures to restrict imports. These measures include product-specific licensing measures, and licensing measure applicable to all goods. The United States further understands that Argentina imposes requirements on importers to undertake trade balancing or similar commitments as a condition for importation.
• The WTO Agreement, however, generally obligates Members not to impose restrictions on the importation of goods from other Members. Accordingly, the United States is concerned that Argentina’s measures appear to be in breach of core WTO obligations involving trade in goods.
• For several years, the United States has attempted to resolve its concerns through dialogue with Argentina. Since 2008, the United States, along with other WTO Members, has raised concerns with Argentina in various fora.
• After these efforts failed to achieve any meaningful results, On August 21, 2012, the United States requested consultations with Argentina regarding these matters.
• Consultations were held on September 20 and 21, 2012. Unfortunately these efforts also failed to resolve the dispute.
• Accordingly, the United States is proceeding to request that the DSB establish a dispute settlement panel.
• As set out in the U.S. request for establishment of a panel, Argentina’s measures are nontransparent and discretionary and serve to restrict imports from the United States and other Members, in apparent breach of various provisions of the GATT 1994 and the Import Licensing Agreement 13
• As is evidenced by similar requests placed on the agenda by the European Union and Japan, these measures have broadly impacted world trade and raise serious concerns about Argentina’s compliance with its WTO obligations.

7. UNITED STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE IMPORTATION OF ANIMALS, MEAT AND OTHER ANIMAL PRODUCTS FROM ARGENTINA

A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY ARGENTINA
(WT/DS447/2)

• The United States is disappointed that Argentina has requested the establishment of a panel on this matter.
• U.S. measures with respect to the importation of animals, meat and other animal products from Argentina are fully compliant with the obligations of the United States under the WTO Agreements.
• Moreover, U.S. regulatory authorities are currently engaged in the process of evaluating sanitary issues related to Argentina’s products. Unfortunately, it appears that Argentina has chosen for its own reasons to prioritize litigation over cooperation in moving forward the regulatory process.
• For these reasons, the United States is not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel.
8. UNITED STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE IMPORTATION OF FRESH LEMONS

A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY ARGENTINA (WT/DS448/2)
• The United States is disappointed that Argentina has requested the establishment of a panel on this matter.
• U.S. measures with respect to the importation of fresh lemons from Argentina are fully compliant with the obligations of the United States under the WTO Agreements.
• Moreover, U.S. regulatory authorities are currently engaged in the process of evaluating phytosanitary issues related to Argentine lemons. Unfortunately, once again it appears that Argentina has chosen for its own reasons to prioritize litigation over cooperation in moving forward the regulatory process.
• The United States also takes note, with significant concern, that Argentina’s consultation request in this matter, as well as in the matter under the prior agenda item, followed shortly after the United States and other Members had requested consultations with regard to Argentina’s far-reaching import licensing measures.
• For these reasons, the United States is not in a position to agree to the establishment of a panel.

9. REPORT ON THE PROGRESS OF THE DIGITAL DS REGISTRY INITIATIVE

• We thank the Chair for requesting this report for a second time and thank the Secretariat for providing it. The United States  joined several other delegations in supporting a request that this information be brought to the DSB, similar to the report provided by the Secretariat during the June 25th DSB meeting. We consider that it is important that the Secretariat’s report has been presented to all Members here today for the purposes of transparency, inclusiveness, and participation by Members, including those that may not be able to participate in the informal working group meetings, for example, due to other commitments.
• The United States and others have been actively participating in a working group in which delegates and the Secretariat have been exchanging information and views on the process of developing the e-filing system and the possible elements of such a system. We thank the Secretariat for organizing these informal meeting, which we have found to be very valuable in deepening our understanding and clarifying our thinking on elements of such a system. We look forward to future opportunities to discuss the issue both in the informal working group setting and in the DSB as work continues on this important initiative.
• We also support the suggestion by a delegation at the last DSB meeting to consider this item for the Secretariat to circulate written materials to Members, such as summaries of the informal Working Group meetings or supplementary information. This may be of significant assistance to delegations in discussing the initiative with capital-based officials, which in turn will enhance the quality of the input from Members.

OTHER BUSINESS
UNITED STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE CROSS-BORDER SUPPLY OF GAMBLING AND BETTING SERVICES (DS285)
• Antigua’s statement today fundamentally misrepresents the current status of this matter, and its positioning within the WTO system as a whole. Moreover, Antigua’s sentiments only serve to postpone the final resolution of this matter, to the detriment of its Antigua’s own interests.
• This dispute involves an area of services regulation – gambling and betting services – that the United States never intended to be included in its schedule under the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
• Indeed most Members, like the United States, view gambling as a significant issue of public morals and public order, involving the protection of children and other vulnerable individuals. Accordingly, most Members tightly regulate any gambling allowed within their borders. And most Members did not include any market access commitment for gambling in their GATS schedules.
• This was the U.S. understanding of its own GATS schedule. However, as a result of ambiguities in drafting, and despite the intent of U.S. negotiators, the Appellate Body ultimately found that the U.S. schedule must be construed as including a market access commitment for cross-border gambling.
• Although the United States finds this outcome difficult to understand and highly unfortunate, the United States has accepted the results of the dispute settlement process.
• The United States has responded to this finding responsibly, and in a manner that involves substantial costs for the United States. As the United States previously notified the DSB and the Council on Trade in Services, the United States has invoked the established, multilateral procedures for modification of its GATS schedule of concessions.
• In May 2007, the United States initiated the modification procedure under Article XXI of the GATS so as to reflect the original U.S. intention to exclude gambling from the scope of U.S. commitments.
• Pursuant to the GATS procedures, the United States reached agreement with all interested Members, except one, on a package of substantial compensatory adjustments to the U.S. GATS schedule.
• Only one single Member, out of the entire WTO membership, will not accept compensatory service concessions. That Member is Antigua.
• Instead of respecting the WTO process under Article XXI, Antigua insists that the United States must maintain its unintentional concession on gambling, and that the United States must change its domestic policies concerning public morals and public order so as to allow internet gambling.
• Despite this unreasonable and unrealistic demand, the United States has gone to great efforts to meet Antigua’s concerns. Over a course of years, the United States has devoted substantial resources to settlement discussions. The United States has met repeatedly with Antigua at all levels of government, from the ministerial to the technical level.
• Based on specific requests made by Antigua, The United States has offered real and substantial benefits that would make important contributions to the future development of the Antiguan economy.
• At times, Antigua has been on the verge of accepting these benefits and putting this dispute behind us.
• At other times, however, as appears to be the case today, Antigua reverts to its unrealistic demands that the United States forego the modification of the U.S. GATS schedule.
• Moreover, Antigua today is stating that it intends to take the additional step of seeking authorization to suspend concessions with respect to intellectual property rights.
• The United States would view such a step as fundamentally at odds with the current status of this matter. It is Antigua’s actions in refusing to engage in the Article XXI process, and not the actions of the United States, that are preventing the final resolution of this matter.
• In these circumstances, Antigua has no justification for taking any retaliatory actions against the United States.
• Moreover, if Antigua actually proceeds with a plan for its government to authorize the theft of intellectual property, it would only serve to hurt Antigua’s own interests. Government-authorized piracy would undermine chances for a settlement that would provide real benefits to Antigua. It also would serve as a major impediment to foreign investment in the Antiguan economy, particularly in high-tech industries.

print  Print