Statement by the United States at the September 21, 2010 DSB Meeting

WTO-DSB1. 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.94)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 7, 2010, in

accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

• As has been noted, a number of legislative proposals that would implement the DSB’s

recommendations and rulings in this dispute were introduced in the First Session of the

current, 111th Congress. The Second Session of the 111th Congress began in January.

• The Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing on

certain of these proposals on March 3, 2010. In addition, the U.S. Administration is

working with Congress to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings.

[Second intervention:]

• In light of the rules of this Body that encourage delegations to keep their statements brief

and to avoid repetition, the United States notes that it has addressed the “systemic”

concerns expressed by some Members at previous DSB meetings, including last month.

We refer Members to those statements.

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED

BY THE DSB

B. UNITED STATES – ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON CERTAIN

HOT-ROLLED STEEL PRODUCTS FROM JAPAN: STATUS REPORT BY

THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS184/15/ADD.94)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 7, 2010, in

accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

• As of November 23, 2002, the U.S. authorities had 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. Details are

provided in the document numbered WT/DS184/15/ADD.3.

• With respect to the recommendations and rulings of the DSB that were not already

addressed by the U.S. authorities, the U.S. Administration will work with the U.S.

Congress with respect to appropriate statutory measures that would resolve this matter.

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED

BY THE DSB

C. UNITED STATES – SECTION 110(5) OF THE US COPYRIGHT ACT:

STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS160/24/ADD.69)

• The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 7, 2010, 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.

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED

BY THE DSB

D. EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE APPROVAL

AND MARKETING OF BIOTECH PRODUCTS: STATUS REPORT BY THE

EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS291/37/ADD.32)

• The United States wishes to thank the EU for its status report and its statement today.

• As the United States has explained at prior meetings of the DSB, the EU has not resolved

fundamental problems in the operation of its regulatory system for biotech products.

• The United States urges the EU to address these matters and will continue to monitor

developments.

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED

BY THE DSB

E. UNITED STATES – MEASURES RELATING TO ZEROING AND SUNSET

REVIEWS: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES

(WT/DS322/36/ADD.12)

• Mr. Chairman, the United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 7,

2010, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

• As noted in that status report, the United States has taken steps to implement the DSB’s

recommendations and rulings in this dispute. With respect to the outstanding issues, the

United States will continue to consult with interested parties in order to address those

issues.

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED

BY THE DSB

F. UNITED STATES – CONTINUED EXISTENCE AND APPLICATION OF

ZEROING METHODOLOGY: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES

(WT/DS350/18/ADD.8)

• Mr. Chairman, the United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 7,

2010, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

• As noted in that status report, the United States has taken steps to implement the DSB’s

recommendations and rulings in this dispute. With regard to the remaining issues, the

United States will continue to consult with interested parties.

1. SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED

BY THE DSB

G. UNITED STATES – LAWS, REGULATIONS AND METHODOLOGY FOR

CALCULATING DUMPING MARGINS (“ZEROING”): STATUS REPORT

BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS294/38/ADD.2)

• Mr. Chairman, the United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 7,

2010, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

• As noted in that status report, the United States has already taken a number of steps to

implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute, and the United States

will continue to consult with interested parties, including the EU, with regard to the

remaining issues.

• As Members are aware, the EU requested authorization from the DSB to suspend

concessions or other obligations in this dispute, and the United States objected to the

EU’s request. Therefore, pursuant to Article 22.6 of the DSU, the matter has been

referred to arbitration.

• Finally, the United States is pleased to announce that, in response to a joint request of the

United States and the EU, on September 8 the Arbitrator issued a communication stating

that it has decided to suspend its work. The communication of the Arbitrator has been

circulated to the DSB as document WT/DS294/39.

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 already 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, furthermore, that Members, including the EU and Japan, 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, nearly three years

ago.

• We therefore do not understand the purpose for which the EU and Japan have inscribed

this item today.

• With respect to comments regarding further status reports in this matter, as we have

already explained at previous DSB meetings, United States fails to see what purpose

would be served by further submission of status reports repeating, yet again, that the

United States has taken all actions necessary to implement the DSB’s recommendations

and rulings in these disputes.

3. UNITED STATES – FINAL ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON STAINLESS STEEL

FROM MEXICO

A. RECOURSE TO ARTICLE 21.5 OF THE DSU BY MEXICO: REQUEST FOR

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL (WT/DS344/20)

• Mr. Chairman, we are disappointed that Mexico has requested the establishment of a

compliance panel in this dispute.

• In accordance with the sequencing agreement between the United States and Mexico in

this dispute, the United States will not object to the establishment of the panel today.

• However, we remain open to discussions with Mexico, as with some other Members, for

a more productive way of addressing issues of concern to Mexico, and we continue to

recommend Mexico to take this course. Therefore, we would disagree that there is no

option available other than a compliance panel.

4. EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES AND ITS MEMBER STATES – TARIFF TREATMENT

OF CERTAIN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTS

A. REPORT OF THE PANEL (WT/DS375/R)

B. REPORT OF THE PANEL (WT/DS376/R)

C. REPORT OF THE PANEL (WT/DS377/R)

• Mr. Chairman, we would like to begin by thanking the Panelists and the Secretariat for

their work in this matter. We would also like to thank our co-complainants for the very

close cooperation we enjoyed throughout this proceeding.

• The United States is pleased to propose the adoption of the Panel report in the dispute

brought by the United States (WT/DS375/R). The report is thorough and generally

well-reasoned, and represents a strong affirmation of key commitments Members

undertook in their WTO Schedules pursuant to the WTO Information Technology

Agreement (ITA). The ITA is widely regarded as creating important new opportunities

for trade and economic growth for developed and developing Members alike.

• This dispute relates to duties the EU imposes on three technology products. The first

product is set top boxes with a communication function – in other words, cable and

satellite boxes that can access the Internet. The second product is flat panel computer

monitors. And the third product is certain multifunctional digital machines – in other

words, computer peripherals that can scan, print, copy and/or fax.

• All three products are covered by the ITA. For all three products, the EU relies on

arbitrary technical characteristics to disqualify products from receiving duty free

treatment — characteristics such as the number of pages per minute that a multifunctional

digital machine can produce, or the specific interfaces installed on a flat panel computer

monitors, or the specific type of technology a set top box uses to communicate with the

Internet.

• For all three products, the Panel found that the EU measures are inconsistent with its

obligations under GATT Article II:1(a) and (b).

• This report has major systemic importance in at least two respects.

• First, the report affirms that the scope of these tariff concessions are not dictated by

classification technicalities.

• Both in its findings with respect to products covered by so-called “Attachment A” of the

ITA, as well as for products covered by “Attachment B”, the Panel interpreted the terms

of the Schedules based on their ordinary meaning in context, in light of the object and

purpose of the GATT 1994.

• The Panel did not accept EU arguments suggesting that its WTO tariff concessions are

circumscribed by customs classification matters, whether classification decisions of

individual Members, or technical characteristics of a product nowhere referenced in the

concession.

• Likewise, the Panel rejected the EU’s position that the headnote in its Schedule

implementing Attachment B was, in the EU’s words, “exhausted” by the particular tariff

headings listed in that headnote. Attachment B requires participants to provide duty free

treatment “wherever…classified”. The Panel agreed with the co-complainants on the

interpretation of the EU headnote implementing this concession, and found that the

Attachment B product descriptions — not particular tariff headings — determine the

scope of the products for which the EU is required to provide duty free treatment

“wherever classified”. In so finding, the report recognizes Attachment B as an important

innovation of the ITA, critical to preserving the value of tariff concessions on key

products.

• Second, the report affirms that the product coverage of a tariff concession is not, as the

EU argued, circumscribed by the state of technology at the time the concession is made.

Tariff concessions are defined by the ordinary meaning of the concession, in context, and

in light of the object and purpose of the GATT 1994. The Panel recognized this fact and

declined to accept an EU theory suggesting that, the moment the ITA was concluded,

technological change began undoing the negotiators’ hard work.

• The report thus represents a strong affirmation of ITA participants’ achievement in 1996.

In cementing the value of the tariff concessions resulting from ITA, including for

products entitled to duty free treatment “wherever…classified,” the report confirms the

breadth of existing duty-free commitments for information technology products and

provides an important foundation for Doha negotiations on duty-free treatment for

additional electronics products.

• Mr. Chairman, as our delegation explained to the DSB when we requested the

establishment of the panel, this dispute began after extensive discussions, over the course

of two years, which failed to resolve the dispute. We welcome the adoption of the Panel

reports today. We look forward to the EU moving promptly to bring its measures into

compliance with its obligations.

[Second intervention:]

• The United States notes that the EU has mentioned concerns regarding the delay in the

completion of this panel report and others. The United States also wishes that this panel

report finding that the EU breached its WTO obligations would have been adopted

sooner. The United States recognizes that the EU is also raising a systemic issue that

could be discussed at another time, including in DSU review, where the issue of timesavings

in dispute settlement has been raised and is an important one.

• At this point, we would simply note that the interests of Members and the dispute

settlement system as a whole are well served by reports that are completed as soon as

possible, but are also of high quality.

• We therefore reiterate our appreciation to the Panel for the high quality reports we are

adopting today.