Statement by the United States at the September 26, 2014, DSB Meeting

Statements by the United States
at the Meeting of the WTO Dispute Settlement Body

Geneva,
September 26, 2014

 

1. STATEMENT BY THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL REGARDING DISPUTE SETTLEMENT ACTIVITIES

Thank you, Mr. Director-General. We appreciate your personal interest in this issue and the manner in which you described this issue to the Members. It demonstrates in a graphic and numerical way what Members have known intuitively.

The United States is also fully aware of and appreciates the extensive work of the secretariat, panel members, and the members of the Appellate Body. The presentation very appropriately puts the need to provide a solution back on us. We took very careful note of the suggestions you made. Some make intuitive sense, especially in regard to the reallocation of staff. Other suggestions will require us to think more deeply.

Like others have mentioned, we look forward to working closely with other Members and the Secretariat to find a way forward to address the issues you raised. We will participate actively in thinking through a solution. Thank you for your presentation.

2. APPOINTMENT OF APPELLATE BODY MEMBER

Mr. Chairman, the United States would like to thank you and the other members of the Selection Committee for your hard work and for the recommendation which has aided the DSB in taking its decision today.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Ambassador Servansing on his appointment to the Appellate Body. Given his extensive hands-on experience in the work of the WTO, as well as his range of experience in the area of international trade, we are certain that Ambassador Servansing will make a major contribution to the work of the Appellate Body.

The United States is a frequent participant in Appellate Body proceedings, and we very much look forward to working with Ambassador Servansing in his new capacity.

3. 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.141)

The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 15, 2014, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

Several bills have been introduced in the current Congress in relation to the DSB recommendations and rulings in this dispute, some of which would repeal Section 211 while others would modify it. In prior meetings of the DSB, the United States described the status of each of these bills.

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.141)

The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 15, 2014, 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 anti-dumping margins in the hot-rolled steel anti-dumping duty investigation at issue.

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.116)

The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 15, 2014, 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.79)

The United States thanks the EU for its status report and its statement today.

At recent meetings of the DSB, the United States has noted with increasing concern that the EU has not approved a single new biotech product in 2014.

Under the EU system, biotech approvals should be made by EU regulatory committees, consisting of EU member State representatives. And the regulatory committees should act in accordance with the scientific recommendations of the EU’s scientific authority, which is called the European Food Safety Authority, or EFSA.

However, not once in at least 10 years have these EU regulatory committees performed their role of taking decisions based on the science-based recommendations.

Instead, all biotech approval decisions have been left to the political level of the EU Commission.

The United States understands that the EU College of Commissioners is scheduled to hold a meeting next week, and will have an opportunity to act in accordance with the EFSA recommendations by approving long-pending biotech product applications.

The current Commission is nearing the end of its five-year term. The United States is concerned that if the current Commission does not act now, all pending applications will face yet further delays pending action by a new set of Commissioners.

The United States would also recall that the ongoing delays are causing serious disruption of trade in agricultural products.

We urge the EU to take steps to address these matters.

E. UNITED STATES – ANTI-DUMPING MEASURES ON CERTAIN SHRIMP FROM VIET NAM (WT/DS404/11/ADD.27)

The United States provided a status report in this dispute on September 15, 2014, in accordance with Article 21.6 of the DSU.

As we have noted at past DSB meetings, in February 2012 the U.S. Department of Commerce modified its procedures in a manner that addresses certain findings in this dispute.

The United States will continue to consult with interested parties as it works to address other recommendations and rulings of the DSB.

4. CHINA – MEASURES RELATED TO THE EXPORTATION OF RARE EARTHS, TUNGSTEN, AND MOLYBDENUM

A. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DSB

The United States thanks China for its statement today, indicating that it intends to implement the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute.

China’s export restraints on rare earths, tungsten, and molybdenum have caused and continue to cause real and substantial economic harm to users of these raw materials. We therefore would urge China to bring its measures promptly into compliance with its obligations through the removal of these restraints.

The United States also looks forward to continuing discussions with China on a reasonable period of time for its implementation under Article 21.3(b) of the DSU.

5. 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 noted at previous DSB meetings, the Deficit Reduction Act – which includes a provision repealing the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 – was enacted into law in February 2006. Accordingly, the United States has taken all actions necessary to implement the DSB=s recommendations and rulings in these disputes.

We recall, furthermore, that the EU, Japan, and other Members have acknowledged that the Deficit Reduction Act does not permit the distribution of duties collected on goods entered after October 1, 2007, which is nearly seven 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, the United States fails to see what purpose would be served by further submission of status reports which would repeat, again, that the United States has taken all actions necessary to implement the DSB=s recommendations and rulings in these disputes.

Indeed, there is no obligation under the DSU to provide status reports once a Member announces that it has implemented those DSB recommendations and rulings, regardless of whether the complaining party disagrees about compliance.

Additionally, I would note that while some Members have highlighted past statements where they stated that the United States needs to provide additional status reports despite the fact that we have already announced that we implemented the DSB’s recommendations and rulings in this dispute, this is inconsistent with the way that they and other Members have handled the issue in disputes where they were the responding party.
6. CHINA – CERTAIN MEASURES AFFECTING ELECTRONIC PAYMENT SERVICES

A. STATEMENT BY THE UNITED STATES

The United States continues to have serious concerns that China has failed to bring its measures into conformity with its WTO obligations.

The situation has not changed since last month, or since the United States first began raising this matter in the DSB.

China continues to maintain a ban on foreign suppliers of electronic payment services (“EPS”) by imposing a licensing requirement, while at the same time providing no procedures for foreign suppliers to obtain that license.

As a result, China’s own domestic champion – China Union Pay – remains the only Electronic Payment Services supplier that can operate in China’s domestic market.

As required for consistency with China’s WTO obligations, the United States calls on China to move forward promptly with the regulations necessary for allowing foreign EPS suppliers to operate in China.

Second Intervention

The United States disagrees with China’s statement that it has complied with the DSB’s recommendations in this dispute, and I would refer Members to our past statements explaining why that is the case. Further, China’s recognition that is working on regulations to address these issues is a recognition that it must take action to provide access to foreign EPS suppliers. The United States urges China to move forward with these regulations expeditiously.

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