WTO news: what’s been happening in the WTO

2003 News items

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22.12.03

DSB considers panel request by Honduras to examine Dominican Republic's measures affecting cigarettes

At the DSB meeting on 19 December 2003, the Dominican Republic blocked Honduras' first-time request for a panel on the former's measures affecting cigarettes.
Summary of the meeting

19.12.03

Turkey’s trade policy review calls for continued reforms

Turkey’s economic reforms could be strengthened by continued structural adjustment, privatization and improved goods and services commitments, to attract foreign investment and make its trading regime more predictable, says a Secretariat report on the country’s trade policies and practices released on 19 December 2003.
Press release

19.12.03

WTO and CPA publish new trade booklet for MPs

The WTO and Commonwealth Parliamentary Association have published a new booklet on the multilateral trading system, based on regional workshops for African and Caribbean Parliamentarians held in Cape Town and Port-of-Spain in 2003.
> details
> download in pdf format (36 pages, 1.4MB)

18.12.03

Chair wraps up: negotiating groups can restart, but still no deal on tough issues

Members are willing to restart work in the negotiating groups, but there is still no major breakthrough, General Council Chairperson Carlos Pérez del Castillo said on 16 December 2003. He was wrapping up the council’s discussion on the follow up from the Cancún Ministerial Conference.
Chairperson’s closing statement

17.12.03

26th WTO Trade Policy Course ends

Twenty-two government officials from developing countries and economies in transition completed on 11 December 2003 a three month training on the multilateral trading system, its rules and its procedures.
> News item

17.12.03

Denmark donates another 600,000 Swiss francs for WTO technical assistance

Denmark pledged a new contribution of DKK 3 million (CHF 600,000) on 17 December to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund, for 2004. Denmark contributed a similar amount in January 2003.
Press release

16.12.03

Professor Merit Janow sworn in as new Appellate Body member

In a ceremony presided over by Ambassador Shotaro Oshima, chair of the Dispute Settlement Body, Professor Merit Janow of the United States was sworn in as a member of the Appellate Body at the WTO on 15 December 2003.
News item

15.12.03

‘Time to reactivate the negotiating groups and other bodies’ — General Council chair and DG

The WTO’s negotiating groups and the Trade Negotiations Committee should be reactivated Chairperson Carlos Pérez del Castillo and WTO Director-General Supachai told the General Council on 15 December 2003. They had suspended the groups after the Cancún Ministerial Conference ended inconclusively in September, and their reports kicked off the General Council’s deliberations on ending the deadlock, as ministers had instructed in Cancún.
Key issues clearer, possible solutions becoming visible: General Council chairperson’s assessment
Ministers want to resume talks using Cancún text: Director-General’s statement

15.12.03

WTO Appellate Body confirms US anti-dumping sunset review of certain Japanese steel products is legal

The WTO Appellate Body’s 15 December 2003 report on dispute DS244, “United States — Sunset Review of Anti-Dumping Duties on Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products from Japan”, reversed some of the legal reasoning of the original panel report, issued on 14 August 2003. In particular, the Appellate Body found that the US Sunset Policy Bulletin can be challenged in WTO dispute settlement. Although their analysis of Japan’s claims differed in important respects, neither the panel nor the Appellate Body made any finding that the United States had acted inconsistently with its obligations under the Anti-Dumping or the WTO Agreement.
> Download the Appellate Body Report in Word format (90 pages; 461KB), in pdf format (90 pages; 247KB)
All documentation on the case DS244
More on Appellate Body
More on Dispute Settlement

15.12.03

Dispute body adopts rulings on US steel safeguards and Japan’s measures on apples

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 10 December 2003, adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports on US definitive safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products and Japanese measures affecting the importation of apples.
Summary of the meeting

12.12.03

Vietnam starts its ‘quantum jump’ but still some way to go

Vietnam’s membership negotiations entered a new phase as its working party started work on key points of draft “elements” of a working party report on 10 December, but members warned that a lot of work still remains.
News item

09.12.03

Chairman reports progress in relaunching trade negotiations

General Council Chairman Amb. Carlos Pérez del Castillo, at an informal Heads of Delegations meeting on 9 December 2003, reported progress in consultations with members for relaunching negotiations but gaps remain wide among positions. Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi urged members to keep working with a sense of urgency and engagement.
Statement by the Chairman of the General Council
Statement by the Director-General

09.12.03

Switzerland contributes a total of 1.5 million Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

Switzerland, on 4 December 2003, made a contribution of 750,000 Swiss francs to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. This is in addition to an earlier Swiss contribution of the same amount.
Press release

04.12.03

Liberal trade policies help Chile cope with external shocks

WTO members, in concluding their third trade policy review of Chile on 4 December 2003, said that liberalization policies since the last review in 1997 have made Chile's economy more resilient and enabled the country to cope well with a number of external shocks over the past years.
Press release

03.12.03

Training course on dispute settlement

Participants representing 27 governments are following a one-week training program on the rules and procedures which govern the WTO dispute settlement mechanism.
News item

02.12.03

EC, Canada and US to discuss next move in hormone-treated beef case

The European Communities, at the DSB meeting on 1 December 2003, asked Canada and the US to initiate a compliance procedure to assess the WTO consistency of the EC's new measure in the hormone-treated beef case but Canada and the US said that they would rather hold further discussions.
Summary of the meeting

01.12.03

Panel rules on India-EU dispute on GSP tariff preferences

The WTO, on 1 December 2003, issued a panel report that found EU's special tariff preferences for 12 developing countries under its “Drug Arrangements”, as prescribed in the EU’s GSP regulation, to be in violation of trade rules because they discriminate against other developing countries. One panelist dissented from the report.
> Download the panel report:       

In Word format:
Panel report (166 pages, 925 KB)
Annex A (2 pages, 44 KB)
Annex B (169 pages, 799 KB)
Annex C (47 pages, 277 KB)
Annex D (16 pages, 82 KB)
Annex E (2 pages, 41 KB)

In pdf format:
Panel report (166 pages, 575 KB)
Annex A (2 pages, 18 KB)
Annex B (169 pages, 511 KB)
Annex C (47 pages, 149 KB)
Annex D (16 pages, 47 KB)
Annex E (2 pages, 16 KB)


All documentation on the case DS246
More on Dispute Settlement

27.11.03

1st Specialized Course on Trade in Services

Twenty-four government officials from developing countries and economies in transition attended a course on trade in services and more specifically the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services.
News item

26.11.03

Appellate Body issues report on US-Japan apple dispute

The Appellate Body, on 26 November 2003, issued a report upholding the findings of a panel that Japan's quarantine restrictions on imports of apples from the United States are inconsistent with certain provisions of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
> Download the Appellate Body Report in Word format (101 pages; 413KB), in pdf format (101 pages; 294KB)
All documentation on the case DS245
More on Appellate Body
More on Dispute Settlement

21.11.03

Supachai welcomes support from leaders of IMF and World Bank

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi welcomed, on 21 November 2003, the strong support shown by IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler and World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn who sent a joint letter to global leaders encouraging them to redouble their efforts in advancing the Doha Development Agenda global trade talks.
Press release

21.11.03

African trade ministers urge resumption of negotiations

Trade ministers from 12 African countries, in a statement after an informal meeting with Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi in Cairo on 13-14 November 2003, called on the WTO membership — particularly the major trading partners — “to return to the negotiating table in the shortest possible delay”.

21.11.03

DSB establishes panel on EU's customs classification of frozen boneless chicken cuts

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 21 November 2003, established a panel to examine Thailand's complaint against the EU's customs classification of boneless chicken cuts.
Summary of the meeting

21.11.03

The Netherlands donates 1.4 million euro to WTO technical assistance

The Netherlands Government pledged, on 19 November 2003, a contribution of 1.4 million euro (1.8 million Swiss francs) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Press release

19.11.03

New webpage set up for decision on intellectual property and public health

The WTO website now includes a dedicated page for member governments to make known their use (or intention to use) provisions allowing cheaper pharmaceutical products to be traded more easily across borders under compulsory licensing.
News item

17.11.03

Morocco joins WTO's Information Technology Agreement

Morocco, on 14 November 2003, joined a WTO agreement on removing all tariff barriers to information technology products such as personal computers and telecoms equipment.
News item

14.11.03

Members encourage Thailand to continue reforms

WTO members, at the conclusion of their fourth trade policy review of Thailand on 14 November 2003, encouraged the country to continue with trade liberalization and structural reforms, which have contributed to the steady development of the economy since the previous review in 1999.
Press release

12.11.03

DSB establishes 3 panels

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 7 November 2003, established three panels to examine, respectively, Australia's quarantine regime for imports, Mexico's anti-dumping measures on beef and rice, and the European Communities' customs classification of frozen boneless chicken cuts.
Summary of the meeting

10.11.03

Appellate Body issues report on steel dispute

The Appellate Body, on 10 November 2003, issued its report on the complaints brought to the WTO by Brazil, China, the European Communities, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland against United States — Definitive Safeguard Measures on Imports of Certain Steel Products. It upheld most of the Panel's conclusions that the US measures were inconsistent with the WTO Safeguards Agreement and the GATT 1994 but reversed some findings regarding tin mill products and stainless steel wire which did not affect the overall result.
> Download the Appellate Body Report in Word format (187 pages; 722KB), in pdf format (187 pages; 1041KB)
All documentation on the case DS248
All documentation on the case DS249
All documentation on the case DS251
All documentation on the case DS252
All documentation on the case DS253
All documentation on the case DS254
All documentation on the case DS258
All documentation on the case DS259
More on Dispute Settlement

10.11.03

Supachai urges China to help rebuild confidence in trade talks

Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the Beijing International Forum on 10 November 2003, called on China, as one of the world's leading economic nations, to help rebuild ambition and confidence in the Doha Development Agenda. He was the first WTO Director-General to visit China since the country joined the organization.

07.11.03

WTO appoints new Appellate Body Member and reappoints three existing Members

The WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) appointed on 7 November 2003 Ms Merit E. Janow of the United States to the Appellate Body and reappointed Messrs Georges Michel Abi-Saab of Egypt, Arumugamangalam Venkatachalam Ganesan of India and Yasuhei Taniguchi of Japan .
Press release

06.11.03

Harbinson will give up Agriculture Committee Chair

Stuart Harbinson, Director of the Office of WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, announced on 6 November 2003 that he intends to give up the chairmanship of the agriculture negotiations.
Press release

06.11.03

Members commend Haiti's economy as one of most liberal in Latin America

WTO members, in concluding their first trade policy review of Haiti on 6 November 2003, said that the country's unilateral reform efforts have made it one of the most liberal economies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Press release

06.11.03

Supachai says DDA failure would be lost opportunity for developing countries

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a keynote address to the Third City of London Biennial Meeting on 4 November 2003, said that failure to advance the Doha Development Agenda would be a “lost opportunity” for developing countries to become more fully integrated into the global economy, and to benefit from the economic growth that trade can generate.

05.11.03

Supachai: sluggish trade growth calls for urgent pick up of stalled trade talks

The sluggish performance in global trade last year and the prospects for weak trade expansion in 2003 reinforces the already pressing need for WTO member governments to get global trade negotiations back on track, said Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi following release of the WTO’s International Trade Statistics 2003 on 5 November 2003. 
Press release

31.10.03

Members encourage Guyana to accelerate reforms

WTO members, in concluding their first trade policy review of Guyana on 31 October 2003, encouraged Guyana to continue and accelerate the pace and scope of its trade reform efforts. A number of members urged that problems of small developing economies, like Guyana, be addressed in the current trade negotiations.
Press release

24.10.03

WTO Secretariat reports significant decline in new anti-dumping investigations

The WTO Secretariat reported, on 23 October 2003, that in the period 1 January to 30 June 2003, 18 Members initiated 79 anti-dumping investigations against exports from a total of 30 different countries or customs territories. This represents a significant decline from the corresponding period of 2002.
Press release

22.10.03

France contributes 100,000 euros to WTO technical cooperation

The Government of France, on 21 October 2003, made a contribution of 100,000 euros (150,000 Swiss francs) to WTO technical cooperation activities related to the implementation of the Agreement of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
Press release

22.10.03

Norway donates 6 million Norwegian Kroner to DDA Fund

The Government of Norway pledged on 14 October 2003 a contribution of 6 million Norwegian Kroner (CHF 1.2 million) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Press release

21.10.03

Hong Kong China to host next Ministerial Conference

WTO members accepted today (21 October 2003) Hong Kong, China’s invitation for the Sixth WTO Ministerial Conference to be held there, but postponed a decision on the date.
News item

17.10.03

Trade reforms boost Bulgaria's economy

WTO members in concluding their review of Bulgaria's trade policies and practices on 17 October 2003 said that trade reforms have contributed to the country's high rates of economic growth in the past five years.
Press release

15.10.03

Members back efforts to put negotiations back on track

General Council Chairman Carlos Pérez del Castillo and Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, during an informal meeting of Heads of Delegation on 14 October 2003, reported that their consultations show members are willing to get back to work in line with the mandate agreed by Ministers at Cancún.
Statements by the General Council Chairman and the Director-General

08.10.03

DSB establishes panel on EC trademark and geographical indication rules

On 2 October 2003, the Dispute Settlement Body agreed to established a panel to examine European Community rules on the protection of trademarks and geographical indications for agricultural products and foodstuffs. The United States and Australia requested the panel (DS174 & DS290).
Summary of the meeting

06.10.03

NGO participation in Ministerial Conference was largest ever

Just under 800 non-governmental organizations and almost 1,600 of their representatives attended the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, a record in the WTO’s eight-year history.
News item

06.10.03

6th Specialized Course on WTO Dispute Settlement ends

Twenty-seven government officials completed on 3 October a five-day immersion into the rules and procedures of the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism.
News item

06.10.03

26th WTO Trade Policy Course begins

Twenty four government officials attended on 22 September 2003 the opening session of the 26th WTO Trade Policy Course, which is being held in Spanish. The brief ceremony was chaired by Mr. Paul Rolian, Director of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, who welcomed the participants.
> News item

01.10.03

Members voice strong support for Honduras' reform programme

WTO members, in concluding their first trade policy review of Honduras on 1 October 2003, expressed strong support for the country's ongoing economic and institutional efforts, including trade and investment liberalization. They were heartened by Honduras' statement that it sees closer integration in the world economy as a development tool.
Press release

24.09.03

WTO commends Niger and Senegal for reform efforts

Members, in concluding their trade policy review of Niger and Senegal on 24 September 2003, recognized that the two countries face real resource constraints in implementing their reform programmes. They urged organizations to provide more technical assistance, and for trading partners to help by ensuring that their markets are fully open to products from Niger and Senegal.
Press release for Niger
Press release for Senegal

19.09.03

Cancún: The real losers are the poor

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in the International Herald Tribune edition of 18 September 2003, wrote that the future of trade issues of potential benefit to developing countries such as market-opening in manufactured products, services and agriculture, are uncertain because of lack of agreement at Cancún. He added that he would immediately look for ways to move the WTO process forward.
Director-General's column

19.09.03

Cancún failure is “not good news” for Africa

Deputy Director-General Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in a speech at the Second East African Business Summit in Nanyuki, Kenya on 18 September 2003, described as “very wrong-headed” the view by some commentators that the failure by Ministers to agree in Cancun was good news. “For us in Africa, this means fewer development opportunities,” he said.
>  DDG Rana's speech

14.09.03

Day 5: Conference ends without consensus

The Cancún Ministerial Conference ended on 14 September after Chairperson Luis Ernesto Derbez concluded that despite considerable movement in consultations, members remained entrenched, particularly on the “Singapore” issues.
Summary of the meeting

13.09.03

Day 4: As ministers comment on new draft, Chairperson warns of dangers of failure

Following the new draft declaration’s circulation and a long meeting in which ministers criticized the points they disliked, Chairperson Derbez expressed concern, in the early hours of 14 September, that failure would damage the world economy and the trading system.
Summary of the meeting

13.09.03

Belgium donates 2 million euro to WTO technical assistance

The Belgian government, on 13 September 2003, committed itself to contribute CHF 3,080,000 (2 million euro) over 4 years — 2004 to 2007 — to the WTO Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. The Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Louis Michel, announced the donation during his speech at the fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún.
Press release

12.09.03

Day 3: ‘Facilitators’ start work on new draft declaration

As the conference’s half-way point passed, the chairperson’s “facilitators” wrapped up their first round of consultations and began drafting a new ministerial declaration.
Meanwhile on the ceremonial side, Cambodia and Nepal signed their membership packages a day after ministers agreed them — the two new members will formally join the WTO 30 days after they have ratified the agreements and informed the WTO.
Summary of the meeting

11.09.03

Day 2: Cambodia and Nepal membership sealed as ministers start negotiations

Ministers began negotiations on 11 September 2003 with an informal heads of delegations meeting followed by group discussions on the key issues, while in a formal session they approved the membership agreements of Cambodia and Nepal.
Summary of the meeting

11.09.03

Ambition achieved as ministers seal Cambodia and Nepal membership deals

WTO ministers approved Cambodia’s and Nepal's membership agreements today (11 September 2003), putting them in line to become the WTO’s 147th and 148th members and the first least-developed countries to join the WTO through the full working party negotiation process.
Press release for Cambodia
Press release for Nepal

11.09.03

WTO and the ACP sign agreement on technical assistance

WTO Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi and the Secretary General of the ACP (Africa, Caribbean and Pacific) Group of Countries, Mr Jean-Robert Goulongana, signed 10 September in Cancún, Mexico, a Memorandum of Understanding for closer cooperation between the two organizations on providing training and technical assistance for ACP countries.
Press release

11.09.03

Austria contributes 310.000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Austria, on 10 September 2003, pledged to contribute 310,000 Swiss francs to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund of the WTO.
Press release

11.09.03

WTO disputes overtake 300 mark

Three hundred and one disputes have been brought to the WTO's dispute settlement system since its creation less than nine years ago. This compares to the roughly 300 disputes brought to its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), during its entire existence of almost 50 years.
Press release

10.09.03

Day 1: Conference kicks off with ‘facilitators’ named and cotton debated

Mexican President Vicente Fox opened the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference on 10 September 2003, and ministers started work in consultations on key issues with “facilitators”. The day ended with a debate on a proposal on cotton from four African countries.
Summary of the meeting

10.09.03

Mexican Government, WTO Secretariat express regret at death in Cancún

The Mexican Government and the WTO Secretariat at the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference regret the death of the Korean citizen Kun Hai Lee, as a result of a self-inflicted wound at a gathering today of Non-Governmental Organizations in Cancún, Mexico.
> Press release

10.09.03

‘Show leadership at Cancún,’ Supachai tells African Union

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi urged African countries on 9 September 2003 to remain engaged in the Doha negotiations at the highest level. Already Africa’s increased participation has started to bear fruit, he said.
Speech

10.09.03

WTO, UNIDO to work together on trade-related technical assistance

World Trade Organization Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and UN Industrial Development Organization Director-General Carlos Magariños signed an agreement today 10 September 2003 in Canún, which will provide a framework for the two organizations to work more closely together to assist developing countries participate meaningfully in international trade.
> Press release

04.09.03

Poor countries need trade to escape poverty, Supachai tells Cancún forums

The main contribution the WTO can make to sustainable development is the successful completion of the Doha Development Round, Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told meetings on “making globalization work for people” and sustainable trade in the sidelines of the Cancún Ministerial Conference.
address at trade union event
address at “sustainable trade day” opening

04.09.03

WTO Members agree on ways to boost least-developed countries’ participation in services negotiations

WTO member governments agreed today (3 September 2003) on how to give special treatment to least-developed countries in the current services negotiations, as required under the provision of the General Agreement on Trade in Services dealing with setting out the framework for negotiations.
> Press release

03.09.03

Draft Cancún Declaration, as forwarded by Pérez del Castillo and Supachai to ministers

General Council chairperson Carlos Pérez del Castillo and Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi submitted their draft Cancún Ministerial Declaration to ministers on 31 August 2003. In a covering letter, they stress that it has not been agreed “in any part”, and does not include many of the member governments’ proposals. But, “it remains our best judgement of what could constitute a workable framework for action by Ministers at Cancún. We believe it constitutes an adequate and manageable basis for discussion, and we hope it will prove a useful tool in our search for common ground in Cancún”.
cover letter
draft declaration

02.09.03

DSB establishes 6 panels to examine 10 complaints

At its meeting on 29 August 2003, the DSB established 6 panels to examine 10 complaints including those on sugar and GMOs.
Summary of the meeting

30.08.03

Decision removes final patent obstacle to cheap drug imports

WTO member governments broke their deadlock over intellectual property protection and public health today (30 August 2003). They agreed on legal changes that will make it easier for poorer countries to import cheaper generics made under compulsory licensing if they are unable to manufacture the medicines themselves.
Press release
Decision on implementation of paragraph 6 of the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and public health
The General Council Chairperson’s statement

29.08.03

President Fox to open Fifth WTO Ministerial

President Vicente Fox of host Mexico will open the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference at the Cancún Convention Centre on 10 September 2003, according to the order of business approved by the General Council on 27 August 2003. The General Council also agreed to forward to Ministers an invitation by Hong Kong, China to host the Sixth Ministerial Conference.
News item

29.08.03

WTO issues panel report on Canada-US softwood lumber dispute

The WTO, on 29 August, released the report of a panel that had examined the case United States — Final countervailing duty determination with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada (DS 257). The panel, while rejecting some of Canada's claims, found the US action inconsistent with certain provisions of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures.
> Download the panel report:

In Word format:
Panel report (22 pages, 810 KB)
Corrigendum (1 page, 26 KB)
Annex A (53 pages, 409 KB)
Annex B (29 pages, 187 KB)
Annex C (4 pages, 33 KB)
Annex D (5 pages, 38 KB)

In pdf format:
Panel report (22 pages, 437 KB)
Corrigendum (1 page, 8 KB)
Annex A (53 pages, 187 KB)
Annex B (29 pages, 101 KB))
Annex C (4 pages, 14 KB)
Annex D (5 pages, 15 KB)

All documentation on the case DS257
More on Dispute Settlement

25.08.03

Italy to contribute 1.55 million Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Italy pledged, on 22 August 2003, one million euros (1.55 million Swiss Francs) for 2003 to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Press release

18.08.03

US, Canada and Argentina request panel to examine EU moratorium on biotech products

At its meeting on 18 August 2003, the DSB considered first-time requests from the US, Canada and Argentina for a  panel to examine the EU measures affecting the approval and marketing of biotech products (DS291, DS292, and DS293).
Summary of the meeting

18.08.03

Nepal set to join WTO at Cancún Ministerial Conference

Nepal’s membership negotiation ended on 15 August when the WTO working party wrapped up its work. Following closely behind Cambodia, Nepal is set to be the second least-developed country to join the WTO through the full working party process. Both countries’ membership is likely to be approved at the Cancún Ministerial Conference in September.
> News item

14.08.03

WTO panel sides with US in Japan's complaint against sunset review

On 14 August 2003, the WTO issued the panel report on United States — Sunset Review of Anti-Dumping Duties on Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products from Japan (DS244). The panel ruled in favour of the US in respect of all the claims made by Japan.
> Download the panel report:

In Word format:
Panel report (90 pages, 547 KB)
Annex A (19 pages, 104 KB)
Annex B (42 pages, 245 KB)
Annex C (20 pages, 103 KB)
Annex D (40 pages, 182 KB)
Annex E (164 pages, 840 KB)

In pdf format:
Panel report (90 pages, 327 KB)
Annex A (19 pages, 75 KB)
Annex B (42 pages, 157 KB)
Annex C (20 pages, 73 KB)
Annex D (40 pages, 133 KB)
Annex E (164 pages, 612 KB)

All documentation on the case DS244
More on Dispute Settlement

14.08.03

World Trade Report 2003

The World Trade Report is a new annual WTO publication focused on trade trends and policy issues. The 2003 edition examines developments in South-South trade, trends in commodity markets, and the growth of Regional Trade Agreements.
Press release

05.08.03

“Pre-Cancún” introduction course on WTO takes places

Government officials from 21 African and Caribbean developing and least-developed countries attended, from 14 July to 1 August 2003, an introductory course focusing on the questions Trade Ministers will discuss at the WTO fifth Ministerial Conference in Cancún.
> News item

24.07.03

General Council extends timeframe to review WTO dispute settlement rules to 31 May 2004

At its meeting on 24 July 2003, the General Council agreed to extend negotiations in the Dispute Settlement Body Special Session which is reviewing WTO rules for dispute settlement. The timeframe was extended from 31 May 2003 to 31 May 2004.
> More on Dispute Settlement Understanding negotiations

24.07.03

Australia, Brazil and Thailand request a panel to examine the EU sugar subsidy regime

On 21 July 2003, Australia, Brazil and Thailand made their first request for the establishment of a panel to look at the European Union's export subsidies on sugar (DS265, DS266 and DS283).
> Summary of the meeting

22.07.03

Working party completes Cambodia’s membership negotiation

The WTO working party handling Cambodia’s membership negotiation completed its work Tuesday 22 July, leaving a final decision approving membership for the Cancún Ministerial Conference, in September.
> News item

22.07.03

Appellate Body upholds ruling in Brazil-EC pipe dispute

The Appellate Body, in a report issued on 22 July 2003, upheld most of the Panel's findings in the case EC — Anti-Dumping Duties on Malleable Cast Iron Tube or Pipe Fittings from Brazil (DS219/AB/R).
> Download the Appellate Body report in Word format (89 pages; 376KB), in pdf format (89 pages; 242KB)
All documentation on the case DS219
More on Dispute Settlement

22.07.03

25th WTO Trade Policy Course ends

Thirty government officials from developing countries and economies in transition completed on 22 July 2003 a three month training on the multilateral trading system, its rules and its procedures.
> News item

22.07.03

WTO African Members prepare Cancún

Senior African officials are meeting ITC, UNCTAD and WTO experts this week to prepare for the next Ministerial conference. They will discuss agriculture, services, industrial tariffs and other sectors.
News item

17.07.03

Spain to contribute 230,000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Spain pledged, on 16 July 2003, a donation of 150,000 euros (CHF 230,000) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. The contribution will finance four training courses for Latin American countries that will take place in the second half of 2003.
Press release

15.07.03

WTO issues panel report on US-Japan apple dispute

The WTO, on 15 July 2003, issued the report of a panel that had examined United States’ complaint about Japan — Measures affecting the importation of apples (DS/245). The panel concluded that Japan's quarantine measure in this case was inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.
> Download the panel report in Word format (288 pages; 1536KB) — in pdf format (288 pages; 981KB)
All documentation on the case DS245
More on Dispute Settlement

15.07.03

Supachai: Doha talks can unlock Africa's huge economic potential

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the African Union Summit in Maputo, Mozambique on 11 July 2003, said that the current trade negotiations will be a vital tool in efforts “to unlock Africa's huge economic potential and raise the living standards of citizens”.

14.07.03

Agencies to step up trade assistance to LDCs

The WTO, IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, UNDP and the World Bank, in a joint communiqué issued on 10 July 2003 in Washington D.C., said they will step up activities under the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance to Least Developed Countries (the IF).
Press release

11.07.03

Panel report out on US safeguard measures on steel products

The WTO, on 11 July 2003, issued the reports of a panel, which concluded that the safeguard measures imposed by the United States on the imports of certain steel products are inconsistent with the WTO Safeguards Agreement and GATT 1994. The case was brought to the WTO by the European Communities, Japan, Korea, China, Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand and Brazil.
Download the panel report

11.07.03

Officials complete WTO dispute-settlement course

Twenty-nine government officials completed, on 4 July 2003, a five-day immersion into the rules and procedures governing the WTO Dispute Settlement Mechanism.
News item

10.07.03

Sixth Geneva Week concentrates on DDA negotiations

The Sixth Geneva Week for Non-Resident Members and Observers will be held at the WTO from 14 — 18 July 2003. This edition of Geneva Week has been timed to coincide with meetings of the Trade Negotiations Committee; the Special Session of the Committee on Agriculture; and a Dedicated Session of the Committee on Trade and Development on Small Economies.
Programme

08.07.03

Agriculture modalities ‘remain elusive’, negotiations chairperson reports to TNC

The chairperson of the agriculture negotiations has circulated a report to the Trade Negotiations Committee on 7 July 2003 intended to help WTO member governments prepare for the Cancún Ministerial Conference in September. In it he describes agreement on “modalities” as “elusive”, and calls for “collective guidance and decisions” on a number of key issues in order to achieve the Doha mandate.
go to report

04.07.03

WTO 2003 annual report out

The WTO, on 4 July 2003, published its 2003 Annual Report, which focuses on the first full year of negotiations under the Doha Development Agenda.
> Download the 2003 annual report in pdf format (178 pages; 900 KB).

01.07.03

UN head urges more flexibility in Doha talks

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in remarks (opens in new window) at the opening meeting of the 2003 Economic and Social Council on 30 June 2003 in Geneva, said that the Doha Development Agenda could provide “a powerful engine of growth” and urged all negotiators to “show more flexibility, and give priority to the global interest”.

01.07.03

Officials complete WTO course on negotiating trade agreements

Twenty-four officials from developing and least-developed countries and economies in transition completed on 27 June 2003 a WTO specialized course “Negotiating Trade Agreements: from Theory to Practice”.
News item

30.06.03

Trade reforms help bring stability to Indonesian economy

WTO members, after reviewing Indonesia's trade policies on 27 and 30 June 2003, said that as a result of government reforms, the economy seems to have stabilized. They praised Indonesia's trade liberalization efforts, such as bringing tariffs down to an average of 7.2% in 2002, but also noted tariff peaks on a few products.
Press release

26.06.03

Antigua and Barbuda requests panel against US on gambling and betting

On 24 June 2003, Antigua and Barbuda made its first request for the establishment of a panel to look at the United States' measures affecting the cross-border supply of gambling and betting services (DS285).
> Summary of the meeting

20.06.03

Panel report out on India-US textiles dispute

The WTO, on 20 June 2003, issued the report of a panel that had examined India's complaint about United States - Rules of Origin for Textiles and Apparel Products (DS243). The panel found that India had failed to establish that the US measures are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement on Rules of Origin.
> Download the panel report in Word format (244 pages; 1240KB) — in pdf format (244 pages; 812KB)
All documentation on the case DS243
More on Dispute Settlement

19.06.03

WTO Director-General establishes a Consultative Board on the future of the multilateral trading system

WTO Director-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi has established a Consultative Board of eminent persons chaired by Mr. Peter Sutherland to advise him on the challenges and opportunities confronting the organization and the multilateral trading system.
> Press release

18.06.03

WTO urges Morocco to accelerate trade reforms

WTO members, in concluding their two-day review of Morocco's trade policies on 18 June 2003, applauded its recent economic performance and urged it to accelerate its trade reforms with a view to improving efficiency and fully benefiting from its participation in the multilateral trading system.
Press release

17.06.03

Supachai: Doha talks key to reviving the world economy

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his opening remarks at the WTO public symposium “Challenges Ahead on the Road to Cancún” on 16 June 2003, said that it has become increasingly evident to political and business leaders the world over that the weak global economy urgently needs the stimulus of a significant trade liberalization.

13.06.03

Arbitrator gives US until 27 December to implement ruling in ‘Byrd Amendment’ dispute

An arbitrator says the United States should implement recommendations and rulings by 27 December 2003, in the two WTO disputes over the US’s Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000. The complaining countries in these cases (DS217 and DS234) are Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the EU, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Thailand.
> Download the report in Word format (30 pages; 168KB) — in pdf format (30 pages; 84KB)
All documentation on the case DS217            > Rulings only
All documentation on the case DS234            > Rulings only
More on Dispute Settlement

11.06.03

Africa urges end to cotton subsidies; Supachai warns “time running out” on Cancún preparations

President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, in his address to the Trade Negotiations Committee (TNC) on 10 June 2003, urged an agreement at Cancún to reduce and eventually eliminate cotton subsidies. TNC Chairman Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his opening remarks, warned negotiators that “time is running out” on preparations for the Fifth Ministerial Conference.

04.06.03

Supachai supports Group of Eight consensus on Doha Development Agenda

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 4 June 2003, welcomed the support of the Group of Eight nations for the timely conclusion to the Doha Development Agenda global trade talks, but urged leaders from the world’s richest nations to transform their pledges of support into action at the negotiating table so that an ambitious outcome can be achieved by the 1 January 2005 deadline.
> Press release

28.05.03

Supachai praises negotiators’ efforts in market access talks, urges governments to work toward agreement

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 28 May 2003, praised negotiators from WTO Member Governments for the progress they have made in negotiations to reduce barriers to trade in manufactured products but urged governments to apply greater effort to narrow differences and agree on the framework for continuing work.
Press release

28.05.03

WTO chief urges governments to find way forward in negotiations on DSU

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi urged WTO Member Governments, on 28 May 2003, to find a pragmatic way forward in their negotiations on improvements and clarifications to the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU).
> Press release

23.05.03

WTO Secretariat issues study on adjusting to trade liberalization

While economists emphasize the long-run gains from trade liberalization, policy makers are worried about the short-run costs. The WTO Secretariat, on 23 May 2003, issued Special Study No. 7 “Adjusting to Trade Liberalization — The Role of Policy, Institutions and WTO Disciplines”, which seeks to identify tools at the disposal of governments to smooth adjustment, to minimize an economy's adjustment costs and to alleviate the burden of those who suffer most.
News item

20.05.03

DSB adopts panel report on Argentina's anti-dumping measures on poultry

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 19 May 2003, adopted the panel report on Brazil's complaint against Argentina's anti-dumping duties on poultry from Brazil (DS241).
Summary of the meeting

16.05.03

Market access chairman issues first draft of “modalities” paper

The Chairman of the Non-Agricultural Market Access Negotiating Group, Ambassador Pierre-Louis Girard, on 16 May 2003 circulated the first draft of the “modalities” paper to member governments, ahead of the 26-28 May meeting of the Negotiating Group.
News item

16.05.03

Dr. Supachai underlines need to conclude Doha talks successfully and on time

The Director-General, in a speech to the International Monetary and Financial Committee in Washington released on 16 May 2003, cited “compelling reasons” to conclude successfully the Doha Development agenda by the deadline of 1 January 2005. They include the uncertain global economic conditions, the spread of bilateral and regional trade arrangements and the need to guarantee more market access to developing countries.

14.05.03

WTO: New Zealand is “one of the most open economies in the world”

WTO members, in concluding their review of the trade polices and practices of New Zealand on 14 May 2003, said the country is a “vivid example of the benefits of unilateral market-oriented reform”. They hoped that New Zealand would take other members’ concerns in the negotiations, especially with regard to tariff peaks and SPS measures.
Press release

14.05.03

Dr. Supachai consults on implementation issues

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in his capacity as chairman of the Trade Negotiations Committee, held informal consultations with heads of delegations on 14 May 2003 to suggest a way of moving forward on the issue of the extension of additional protection for geographical indications to products other than wines and spirits.
Statement by the TNC Chairman

14.05.03

‘Quantum jump’ needed if Viet Nam is to join in two years

Viet Nam reported progress, on 12 May 2003, in its membership negotiations, but several delegations said much more needs to be done, and the working group chairperson told members that “success will depend on a quantum jump” in efforts if Viet Nam is to meet its goal of joining by 2005.
News item

13.05.03

World economic agencies call on G-8 to give a push to the Doha talks

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler and World Bank President James Wolfensohn, in a joint statement at the WTO General Council meeting on coherence on 13 May 2003, appealed to the G-8 leaders to “provide the political guidance that is needed to allow the trade negotiations to move forward again before the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún in September”.
Joint statement
Statement by WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi (MS Word format, 3 pages, 72KB)
Statement by IMF Managing Director Horst Köhler (MS Word format, 4 pages, 54KB)
Statement by World Bank President James Wolfensohn (MS Word format, 8 pages, 134KB)
Statement by WTO General Council Chair Carlos Pérez Del Castillo (MS Word format, 6 pages, 38KB)
> Video highlights: start of the meeting and joint press conference (Windows Media format, 3 minutes) High bandwidth   Low   Medium

12.05.03

France contributes 1.5 million Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance fund

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 12 May 2003, welcomed France's contribution of 1.5 million Swiss francs to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund.
Press release

9.05.03

‘Avoiding the worst is no substitute for real progress,’ Supachai tells negotiators

A clear priority for about a dozen issues requiring action in or before the Cancún Ministerial Conference in September, is to reduce the load to “manageable proportions” by reaching understanding on as many of these issues as possible, Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi told the Trade Negotiations Committee, which he chairs, on 9 May 2003.
Statement

09.05.03

WTO paper out on key issues in the tariff negotiations

The WTO Secretariat, on 6 May 2003, issued a comprehensive discussion paper on “Industrial Tariffs and the Doha Development Agenda”. Containing many tables and charts, the paper focuses on the basic mandate given to negotiators at Doha and looks at specific issues facing developed, developing and least-developed countries.
Abstract

08.05.03

EU granted permission to apply US$4 billion sanctions against US in FSC case but delays application

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 7 May 2003, granted the European Union authorization to increase by US$4 billion its import tariffs on US goods. The EU said that they were still willing to give the US a short additional period to make the necessary legislative changes.
Summary of the meeting

07.05.03

UN system heads urge Doha progress for global development

The executive heads of the 27 organizations of the UN system at their spring session in Paris on 25-26 April 2003 said progress in the Doha negotiations is “urgent because there are still more than 1 billion people in today's world living without enough food to eat, without safe water to drink, without primary schooling or healthcare for their children”.
UN press release (link opens a new window)

06.05.03

Introduction course on WTO for LDCs begins

Government officials from 21 least-developed countries attended, on 6 May 2003, the opening session of the 3rd Introduction Course on WTO. The session was chaired by Mr. Paul Rolian, Director of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation of the WTO, who welcomed all the participants.
News item

06.05.03

End of textile quotas to strengthen WTO, says Dr. Supachai

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech at the Conference on the Future of Textiles and Clothing after 2005 on 5 May 2003 in Brussels, said “there is no question that the multilateral trading system will be strengthened by the full implementation of the WTO Agreement on Textiles and Clothing” at the end of 2004.
> See also concluding remarks by WTO Deputy Director-General Rana (Download in Word format, 6 pages, 50KB)

02.05.03

WTO Secretariat reports significant decline in new anti-dumping investigations

The WTO Secretariat, on 2 May 2003, reported that in the period 1 July–31 December 2002, 17 Members initiated 149 anti-dumping investigations against exports from a total of 43 different countries or customs territories. This represents a significant decline from the corresponding period of 2001, during which 23 WTO Members had initiated 210 anti-dumping investigations.
Press release

01.05.03

Lead the way towards compromise, Supachai urges OECD ministers

Click for Doha Development Agenda gatewayWTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi has called on ministers of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to show leadership by making tough political decisions and showing a willingness to compromise in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. Speaking in Paris, 30 April 2003, he said negotiators in Geneva lack instructions from their ministers in agriculture and other key areas, that are consistent with governments’ commitment to a successful outcome.
News

01.05.03

Revised Working Procedures for Appellate Review

The Appellate Body circulated today (1 May 2003) a revised, consolidated version of its Working Procedures, modifying the rules governing third-party participation in oral hearings in appeals. The revised procedures come into effect today.
Explanation           > Full text of the Working Procedures

01.05.03

25th WTO Trade Policy Course begins

Thirty government officials attended on 28 April 2003 the opening session of the 25th WTO Trade Policy Course, which is being held in English. The brief ceremony was chaired by Mr. Paul Rolian, Director of the Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation, who welcomed the participants.
> News item

28.04.03

DSB adopts compliance reports on EC anti-dumping duties on bed linen from India

On 24 April 2003, the Dispute Settlement Body adopted the compliance reports by the panel and Appellate Body on India's complaint against EC anti-dumping duties on imports of cotton-type bed linen from India (DS141).
Summary of the meeting

25.04.03

WTO commends economic reform in SACU countries

WTO members, in concluding their trade policy review of members of the Southern African Customs Union (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland) on 25 April 2003, commended the progress achieved in their economic reform programmes, and noted that trade and investment liberalization had played a key role in these programmes. They encouraged SACU countries to move ahead in implementing structural reforms, adding that trading partners can help by ensuring open markets and providing technical assistance to SACU.
Press release

25.04.03

China, Egypt join WTO's Information Technology Agreement

China and Egypt, on 24 April 2003, joined a WTO agreement on removing all tariff barriers to information technology products such as personal computers and telecoms equipment.
News item

23.04.03

Trade recovered in 2002, but uncertainty continues

Driven by strong demand in the United States and the big Asian economies, merchandise trade grew by 2.5% in 2002, up from a 1% decline in 2001, according to the latest WTO figures. But trade growth was uneven and masked the sluggish trade performance in many regions.
Press release

22.04.03

Argentina’s anti-dumping measure found to violate WTO agreement

A WTO dispute panel has concluded that Argentina acted inconsistently with the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement on a number of counts when it imposed anti-dumping duties on poultry from Brazil. The panel report in case DS241 was circulated on 22 April 2003. Canada, Chile, the EU, Guatemala, Paraguay and the US were third parties in this case.
> Download the panel report (WT/DS241/R):

In Word format:
Part I (109 pages, 669 KB)
Part II (219 pages, 1303 KB)
Part III (152 pages, 853 KB)
Part VI (40 pages, 215 KB)

In pdf format:
Part I (109 pages, 371 KB)
Part II (219 pages, 687 KB)
Part III (152 pages, 484 KB)
Part IV (40 pages, 123 KB)

All documentation on the case DS241
More on Dispute Settlement

17.04.03

Cambodia moves closer to membership by Cancún

A tight schedule was agreed at the 16 April 2003 working party meeting for Cambodia’s WTO membership negotiation to end in July. This would allow the possibility for all the formalities to be completed by the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancún, 10–14 September 2003, but a lot of work remains on completing bilateral negotiations and the final multilateral package.
News

17.04.03

DSB adopts panel report on Argentina's import measures on peaches

On 15 April 2003, the Dispute Settlement Body adopted the panel report on Chile's complaint against Argentina's safeguard measures on imports of preserved peaches (DS238).
> Summary of the meeting

16.04.03

WTO and UNCTAD improve cooperation on technical assistance

The WTO and UN Conference on Trade and Development have stepped up their strategic partnership by creating, on 16 April 2003, a new legal framework for cooperating in technical assistance. The aims are to ensure that trade aids development and to help developing and least-developed countries integrate into the global economy.
Press release

16.04.03

Second WTO-Nairobi University joint trade policy course starts

The second regional trade policy course, organized jointly by the World Trade Organization and Nairobi University opened on 7 April 2003. The course will run for 12 weeks, with 23 participants from 20 African countries taking part.
> News

15.04.03

SPS Committee agrees on treatment for developing countries

The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures Committee, meeting 1–3 April 2003, agreed in principle on a procedure for governments to make known the flexibility given to developing countries when they apply new measures on food safety and animal and plant health. It also discussed a number of other issues.
News item

11.04.03

Public symposium: ‘Challenges Ahead on the Road to Cancún’

The WTO is hosting a public symposium, 16–18 June 2003, on the challenges WTO members face ahead of Cancún Ministerial Conference in September. Participants will come from governments, parliaments, civil society, the business sector, academia and the media.
details

09.04.03

23rd and 24th WTO Trade Policy Courses end

Fifty-two government officials from developing and transition economies completed the three-month 23rd and 24th WTO Trade Policy Courses last week. During the closing ceremony, Deputy Director-General Rufus Yerxa underlined that because the training took place at headquarters the participants had a unique opportunity to get acquainted first-hand with the role and the functioning of the WTO, and develop an important network of contacts.
News item

08.04.03

Appellate Body reverses compliance ruling in bed linen dispute

The Appellate Body, in a report issued on 8 April 2003, reversed a Panel's finding in the case EC — Anti-dumping duties on imports of cotton-type bed linen from India — Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by India (DS141/AB/RW) by concluding that the European Communities had acted inconsistently with paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 3 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement in determining the volume of dumped imports for purposes of making a determination of injury. It upheld the Panel's rulings interpreting Articles 11 and 21.5 of the DSU and Article 17.6 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement.
> Download the Appellate Body report in Word format (82 pages; 317KB), in pdf format (82 pages; 254KB)
All documentation on the case DS141
More on Dispute Settlement

04.04.03

WTO commends Burundi's determination to pursue reform agenda

WTO members, in concluding their review of Burundi's trade policies and practices on 4 April 2003, commended the country's determination to pursue its reform agenda, notwithstanding enormous difficulties. They said that the Integrated Framework could help Burundi meet priority technical assistance needs, and integrate trade reforms into its overall strategy for poverty reduction.
Press release

04.04.03

WTO membership rises to 146

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on 4 April 2003, became the 146th Member of the World Trade Organization.
News item                               > More on accessions                 
More on the Former Yugoslav Republic of  Macedonia

02.04.03

Dr. Supachai underlines importance of Doha progress to global confidence

Click for Doha Development Agenda gatewayDirector-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in opening an informal meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee attended by many senior capital-based officials on 2 April 2003, stressed that “at a time of growing global economic uncertainty, progress in the Doha Round towards its timely conclusion can make a much-needed contribution to confidence”. He hoped that officials will take back to capitals “a renewed sense of the necessity of political commitment and the urgency of sustaining the momentum of the negotiations”.
TNC Chairman's opening statement

01.04.03

Panel established to examine Canada's measures on wheat and grain

On 31 March 2003, the Dispute Settlement Body established a panel at the request of the United States to examine Canada's measures on wheat and grain (DS276).
Summary of the meeting

31.03.03

Farm talks miss deadline; but ‘work must go on’, says Supachai

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi today, 31 March 2003, expressed disappointment over the failure by WTO member governments to agree on a framework for future agriculture trade reform but said progress in the global trade negotiations can still be achieved provided governments continue to work towards bridging their differences.
Press release

31.03.03

DDG Rana calls for movement in Doha Development negotiations

Click for Doha Development Agenda gatewayDeputy Director-General Kipkorir Aly Azad Rana, in a speech opening the Doha Development Agenda Advanced Training Programme for Asia-Pacific Senior Government Officials on 31 March 2003 in Beijing, said that WTO Members could not tempt failure by procrastinating, engaging in trade brinkmanship, or holding out for last minute deals.

26.03.03

WTO allows Brazil sanctions against Canada in aircraft dispute

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 18 March 2003, granted Brazil authorization to apply sanctions against Canada on the amount of US$247,797,000 following Canada's failure to comply with a WTO ruling on its subsidy program for regional aircraft (DS222).
Summary of the meeting

18.03.03

Agriculture negotiations: revised ‘modalities’ draft circulated

The revised first draft of the agriculture “modalities” paper was circulated to member governments on 18 March 2003, as the negotiations approach the 31 March deadline for establishing “modalities” — targets (including numerical targets) for achieving the objectives of the negotiations, as well as issues related to rules.
> the revised draft

17.03.03

Chile given until 23 December to implement agriculture dispute ruling

The WTO arbitrator, on 17 March 2003, has decided that Chile should be given 14 months to implement the dispute ruling in the dispute over Chile’s “Price Band System and Safeguard Measures Relating to Certain Agricultural Products” (dispute number 207/13). The period began on 23 October 2002, when the Dispute Settlement Body adopted the panel and Appellate Body reports, and expires on 23 December 2003.
> Download the report in Word format (27 pages; 127KB) — in pdf format (27 pages; 78KB).
All documentation on the case DS207         > Rulings only DS207
More on Dispute Settlement

14.03.03

Liberal trade regime credited for Canada's strong performance despite global slowdown

WTO members, at the conclusion of their review of Canada's trade policies on 14 March 2003, said that a liberal trade regime and sound economic policies have allowed Canada to improve its living standards continuously, even in the face of a global economic slowdown. However, significant policy-induced distortions still affect a few domestic activities, not only imposing costs on Canadians at large but also undermining Canada's otherwise firm efforts to eliminate inefficiencies in global markets.
Press release

14.03.03

Goods Council agrees on chairpersons of subsidiary bodies

The Council for Trade in Goods, on 13 March 2003, agreed on a slate of chairpersons of its subsidiary bodies for this year.
News item

10.03.03

Services negotiations: negotiators agree on modalities for treatment of autonomous liberalization

The Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services took a key step on 6 March 2003 towards fulfilling the Doha Development Agenda by adopting modalities for the treatment of liberalization measures taken unilaterally by WTO Members since the previous multilateral negotiations. Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi said “this agreement should inject new dynamism not only in the services negotiations but also in other areas of the Doha Agenda”.
Press release

07.03.03

Panel report out on Brazil-EC pipe dispute

The WTO, on 7 March 2003, released the report of a panel that had examined Brazil's complaint about European Communities' anti-dumping duties on imports of malleable cast-iron tube or pipe fittings from Brazil (DS219/R).
> Download the panel report:

In Word format:
Part I (136 pages, 741 KB)
Part II (27 pages, 140 KB)
Part III (15 pages, 286 KB)
Part VI (11 pages, 60 KB)
Part V (35 pages, 160 KB)
Part VI (153 pages, 687 KB)

In pdf format:
Part I (136 pages, 413 KB)
Part II (27 pages, 72 KB)
Part III (15 pages, 50 KB)
Part IV (11 pages, 30 KB)
Part V (35 pages, 98 KB)
Part VI (153 pages, 433 KB)

All documentation on the case DS219
More on Dispute Settlement

03.03.03

Director General Supachai welcomes WHO tobacco agreement

WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi welcomed, on 3 March 2003, a public health agreement to control the supply and consumption of tobacco which was reached 1 March by the 171 World Health Organization member states.
News item

28.02.03

WTO and International Institute for Trade and Development launch technical assistance collaboration

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi and Ambassador Manaspas Xuto, Executive Director of the International Institute for Trade and Development, signed on 28 February 2003 a Memorandum of Understanding launching a joint technical assistance programme to help developing and least-developed countries increase their participation in the multilateral trade negotiations.
Press release

27.02.03

Agreement reached on WTO waiver for “conflict diamonds”

The WTO Council for Trade in Goods, on 26 February 2003, agreed to recommend that the General Council grant requesting members a waiver for trade measures taken under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme for Rough Diamonds. The agreed decision recognized “the extraordinary humanitarian nature of this issue and the devastating impact of conflicts fuelled by trade in conflict diamonds...”.
News item

27.02.03

US ready to discuss reasonable period of time to implement findings in the “Byrd Amendment” case

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 26 February 2003, noted that parties to the “Byrd Amendment” dispute were ready to start discussing a reasonable period of time required by the US to implement the findings in this case (DS217 & DS234).
Summary of the meeting

21.02.03

DDG Abbott sees broad support for trade facilitation goals

Deputy Director-General Roderick Abbott, in a brief speech at the launching of the World Trade Point Federation Online in Geneva on 19 February 2003, noted broad international support for simplifying trade transactions, especially for developing country exporters. He said there was “a reasonably good chance” that WTO members would move forward on trade facilitation at the Cancún Ministerial Conference.

20.02.03

US blocks first panel request on cotton subsidies

At the Dispute Settlement Body, on 19 February 2003, the United States blocked Brazil's first panel request on upland cotton subsidies.
Summary of the meeting

20.02.03

Dr. Supachai welcomes start of WTO work on Bhutan's accession

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, on 18 February 2003, welcomed the start of serious work on the accession of Bhutan with the delivery of the country's Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime to the WTO. He said that this development signalled Bhutan's keen interest in commencing its accession process.
News item
More on Bhutan               > More on accessions

17.02.03

Arbitrator authorises Brazil to impose up to US$ 248 million in countermeasures in aircraft dispute

The WTO, on 17 February 2003, released the Decision by the Arbitrator (WT/DS222/ARB) in the case Canada — Export credits and loan guarantees for regional aircraft. The Arbitrator determined that the appropriate amount of countermeasures that Brazil could apply pursuant to Article 4.10 of the Subsidies Agreement was US$ 248 million. Noting ongoing consultations, the Arbitrator gave the opinion that a mutually satisfactory agreement between the two parties addressing the issues dealt with in this case in their broader context would be the most appropriate solution in the dispute.
> Download the decision of the Arbitrator in Word format (42 pages; 264KB), in pdf format (42 pages; 132KB).
All documentation on the case DS222
More on Dispute Settlement

17.02.03

Agriculture negotiations: ‘modalities’ first draft circulated

The first draft of the agriculture “modalities” paper was circulated to member governments on 12 February 2003, focusing the negotiations on the search for the compromises that are necessary for a final agreement. The “modalities” are targets (including numerical targets) for achieving the objectives of the negotiations, as well as issues related to rules. Due to be completed by 31 March 2003, they will set parameters of the final agreement to be reached by 1 January 2005.
the first draft

14.02.03

Panel rules against Argentina in peach dispute

The WTO, on 14 February 2003, released the report by a Panel (WT/DS238/R) that had examined Chile's complaint about Argentina's definitive safeguard measure on imports of preserved peaches. The Panel concluded that the Argentine measure was imposed inconsistently with Article XIX of the GATT 1994 and certain provisions of the Safeguards Agreement.
> Download the panel report in Word format (100 pages; 648KB), in pdf format (100 pages; 311KB).
All documentation on the case DS238           
More on Dispute Settlement

11.02.03

WTO gets high marks for accountability, transparency

The first Global Accountability Report has given high marks to the WTO, ranking it third in access to online information, eighth on member control and fourth overall among 18 inter-governmental organizations, transnational corporations and international NGOs.
News item

10.02.03

Marchi hails roster of 2003 WTO chairpersons

Amb. Sergio Marchi of Canada, the 2002 Chairman of the General Council, on 10 February 2003 praised the wisdom of WTO Member governments in their selection of chairpersons to head the organization’s bodies in 2003. “This group of chairs brings a good blend of experience and new energy which will be vital in the coming year,” he said. The new General Council Chairman is Amb. Carlos Pérez Del Castillo of Uruguay.
Press release
WTO chairpersons for 2003

05.02.03

WTO commends El Salvador's trade regime

WTO members, at the conclusion of their review of El Salvador's trade policies and practices on 5 February 2003, praised the country for its generally open trade regime and its stated conviction that trade liberalization is central to its development strategy. They encouraged El Salvador to diversify its export base and expressed their hope that the country's growing engagement in preferential trade agreements would complement multilateral liberalization efforts.
Press release

05.02.03

WTO membership rises to 145

Armenia, on 5 February 2003, became the 145th member of the WTO, 30 days after the Secretariat received official notification of the ratification of Armenia's Protocol of Accession. The General Council approved the country's accession package last December.

28.01.03

DSB adopts panel and Appellate Body reports on “Byrd Amendment”

The Dispute Settlement Body, on 27 January 2003, adopted the Appellate Body report and the panel report as amended by the Appellate Body on the US Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000, otherwise known as the Byrd Amendment.
Summary of the meeting

24.01.03

GC Chairman: “We cannot backload issues into Cancún”

The Chairman of the General Council, Ambassador Sergio Marchi of Canada, in an address to the Canadian American Business Council and the Coalition of Service Industries on 15 January 2003 in Washington, said that while WTO negotiators “have made some good progress... the tight timeline means we need to pick up the pace of negotiations”.

23.01.03

Spain to donate 75,000 Swiss francs to WTO technical assistance

The Government of Spain pledged, on 22 January 2003, a contribution of 50,000 euros (CHF 75,000) to the Doha Development Agenda Global Trust Fund. The contribution will finance a WTO regional workshop on trade facilitation which is planned to take place in Costa Rica at the end of this year.
Press release

22.01.03

Dr. Supachai pledges WTO help in Arab trade reform efforts

Click for Doha Development Agenda gatewayDirector-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a statement opening the Doha Development Agenda Advanced Training Programme for Arab Senior Government Officials on 19 January 2003 in Cairo, underlined his determination to effectively implement Secretariat measures to assist Arab countries and to improve their participation in the work of the WTO and in the ongoing trade negotiations.

17.01.03

WTO supports Maldives' push for diversified export-oriented economy

WTO members, at the conclusion of their first review of Maldives' trade policies and practices on 17 January 2003, commended the country for its impressive growth and expressed support for its ambitious plans for a more diversified export-oriented economy.
Press release

17.01.03

New video explains the WTO through member governments’ eyes

A new WTO video, released on 17 January 2003, opens up the WTO system in a simple and lively way — through the eyes of representatives of Member governments, who operate the system.
Press release

16.01.03

Appellate Body upholds finding against US' “Byrd Amendment”

The WTO, on 16 January 2003, released an Appellate Body report (DS217/AB/R, DS234/AB/R) upholding a Panel's finding that the US Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act of 2000 is inconsistent with certain provisions of the WTO agreements on anti-dumping and on subsidies because it is a specific action against dumping or a subsidy. However, the Appellate Body reversed the Panel's finding that the so-called “Byrd Amendment” is inconsistent with other WTO provisions relating to the support required for initiating an investigation. The Appellate Body also rejected the Panel's conclusion that the US may be regarded as not having acted in good faith with respect to its obligations.
> Download the Appellate Body report in Word format (119 pages; 442KB), in pdf format (119 pages; 289KB)
All documentation on the case DS217            > Rulings only
All documentation on the case DS234            > Rulings only
More on Dispute Settlement

08.01.03

Dr. Supachai urges members to give a major push to the negotiations

Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi, in a speech on 8 January 2003 at the Partnership Summit in Hyderabad, urged WTO members to “now give a major push to the negotiations and ensure all areas move forward together in a balanced way”. He said “we need India's constructive engagement and leadership to help guide the Doha Development Agenda towards a successful conclusion that would benefit all members”.

06.01.03

WTO organizes course on how to negotiate trade agreements

Twenty-three government officials from developing countries and economies in transition participated in a two-week course “Negotiating Trade Agreements: from Theory to Practice” that concluded on 13 December 2002.
News item