MIL-OSI Economics: Members commit to engagement on dispute settlement reform

9

Source: World Trade Organisation

Appellate Body appointments

Mexico, speaking on behalf of 123 members, introduced for the 53rd time the group’s proposal to start the selection processes for filling vacancies on the Appellate Body. The extensive number of members submitting the proposal reflects a common concern over the current situation in the Appellate Body which is seriously affecting the overall WTO dispute settlement system against the best interest of members, Mexico said for the group.

The United States said that its longstanding concerns with WTO dispute settlement remain unaddressed, and that it does not support the proposed decision to commence the appointment of Appellate Body members.  Many members share US concerns with the functioning of the system and its negative impact on the WTO’s negotiating and monitoring functions, it said.

The US added that it wants to be clear it supports WTO dispute settlement reform and that it is prepared for continued and deepened engagement with members on the basis that such discussions should aim to ensure that WTO dispute settlement reflects the real interests of members and not prejudge what a reformed system would look like.

More than 20 delegations (including the European Union for its 27 members, Nigeria for the African Group and St Vincent and the Grenadines for the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States) took the floor to reiterate the importance of the WTO’s two-tiered dispute settlement system to the stability and predictability of the multilateral trading system.  They called on all members to engage in constructive discussions in order to restore a fully functioning dispute settlement system, which some cited as a top priority for reform of the organization.

For the 123 members, Mexico again came back to say the fact a member may have concerns about certain aspects of the functioning of the Appellate Body cannot serve as pretext to impair and disrupt the work of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) and dispute settlement in general, and that there was no legal justification for the current blocking of the selection processes, which is causing concrete nullification and impairment of rights for many members.

The DSB chair, Ambassador Athaliah Lesiba Molokomme of Botswana, said she hoped members would be able to find a solution to this matter.

Surveillance of implementation

The United States presented status reports with regard to DS184, “US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan”,  DS160, “United States — Section 110(5) of US Copyright Act”, DS464, “United States — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Large Residential Washers from Korea”, and DS471,”United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China.”

The European Union presented a status report with regard to DS291, “EC — Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products.” Indonesia presented its status reports in DS477 and DS478, “Indonesia — Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products.” 

Ukraine

More than a dozen members took the floor to express their strong opposition to the invasion of Ukraine. The Russian delegate responded by saying that the WTO was not the proper venue for a discussion of this nature.

Next meeting

The next DSB meeting will take place on 31 May.

MIL OSI Economics