AGENDA POINT 1: SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB
B. UNITED STATES – SECTION 110(5) OF THE US COPYRIGHT ACT: STATUS REPORT BY THE UNITED STATES (WT/DS160/24/ADD.180)
⦁ We thank the United States for its status report and its statement today.
⦁ We refer to our previous statements. We would like to resolve this case as soon as possible.
AGENDA POINT 1: SURVEILLANCE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB
C. EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES – MEASURES AFFECTING THE APPROVAL AND MARKETING OF BIOTECH PRODUCTS: STATUS REPORT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS291/37/ADD.143)
⦁ The EU continues to progress with the authorisations where the European Food Safety Authority has finalised its scientific opinion and concluded that there are no safety concerns.
⦁ The EU has a solid record on the authorisation of GMO requests: last year, eighteen decisions were adopted to authorise 65 new GMOs for feed and food, 6 GMOs were renewed and one GM cut flower was authorised.
⦁ As repeatedly explained by the EU and confirmed by the US delegation during the EU-US biannual consultations held on 12 June 2019, efforts to reduce delays in authorisation procedures are constantly maintained at a high level at all stages of the authorisation procedure.
⦁ During the last meetings of the DSB, the United States referred to what is known as the EU “opt-out Directive”. We would like to reiterate that the DSB recommendations and rulings do not cover that “opt-out Directive”.
⦁ The EU acts in line with its WTO obligations. Finally, we recall that the EU approval system is not covered by the DSB's recommendations and rulings.
⦁ The WTO Agreements do not require full international harmonisation and leave some regulatory space or autonomy to individual WTO Members. The European Union has different regulatory approaches to non-GMOs and GMOs but, in all cases, such regulations do not discriminate between imported and domestic like products.
⦁ No EU Member State has imposed any “ban”. Under the terms of the Directive, an EU Member State can adopt measures restricting or prohibiting cultivation only when such measures are in line with EU law and are reasoned, proportional, non-discriminatory and based on compelling grounds.
⦁ The free movement of seeds is embedded in Article 22 of Directive 2001/18/EC: ‘Member States may not prohibit, restrict or impede the placing on the market of GMOs, as or in products, which comply with the requirements of this Directive’. We also note that according to the provisions of the opt-out Directive (Article 26b, point 8) the measures adopted under the Directive ‘shall not affect the free circulation of authorised GMOs’ in the EU.
⦁ Currently the EU Common Catalogue of varieties of agricultural species includes 150 varieties of maize MON 810, which are allowed to be marketed in the EU. Until today, the Commission has never received any complaints from seed operators or other stakeholders concerning the restriction of marketing of MON810 seeds in the EU. This confirms the smooth functioning of the internal market of MON810 seeds.
⦁ We would invite the US to provide any evidence they may have at their disposal substantiating the disruption of the free movement of MON810 seeds in the EU.
AGENDA POINT 2: UNITED STATES – CONTINUED DUMPING AND SUBSIDY OFFSET ACT OF 2000: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB
A. STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION
• On 1 May 2020 the EU adjusted the level of suspension to the nullification or impairment caused by the CDSOA to the European Union. The adjustment maintains unchanged the list of products subject to retaliation while increasing the rate of additional duty to which those products are subjected to 0,012% in order to adjust to the level of retaliation. The letter informing of the adjustment, together with the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/578 of 21 February 2020, was notified to the DSB on 26 June 2020.
• The EU requests once again the United States to stop transferring antidumping and countervailing duties to the US industry. Even if the amounts have considerably decreased, the latest CDSOA report from December 2018 still shows that amounts are still being in practice disbursed.
• Every disbursement that still takes place is clearly an act of non-compliance with DSB recommendations and rulings. As long as the US does not fully stop transferring collected duties, the item is rightly under the DSB's surveillance. Due to the long standing nature of this breach, the EU will continue to insist – as a matter of principle – independently of the cost resulting from the application of such limited duties.
• The EU renews its call on the United States to abide by its clear obligation under Article 21.6 of the DSU to submit implementation reports in this dispute.
• The EU will continue to put this point on the agenda as long as the US has not fully implemented the WTO ruling and the disbursements cease completely.
AGENDA POINT 3: EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES AND CERTAIN MEMBER STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING TRADE IN LARGE CIVIL AIRCRAFT: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB
• As in the previous DSB meetings, the US has again mentioned that the EU is taking inconsistent positions under Article 21.6 of the DSU, depending on whether the EU is a complaining party or a defending party in a dispute.
The US also referred to the EU’s appeal filed against the report of the second compliance panel as an example of the EU's pursuing “endless and meritless litigation … instead of attempting to achieve compliance”.
• Both US assertions are without merit.
• As the EU has repeatedly explained in past meetings of the DSB, the crucial point for the defending party’s obligation to provide status reports to the DSB is the stage of the dispute. In the Airbus case, the dispute is at a stage where the defending party does not have an obligation to submit status reports to the DSB.
• We would like to remind the DSB that in the Airbus case the EU notified a new set of compliance measures to the DSB. That new set of compliance measures were a clear demonstration that the EU – contrary to the US in the parallel Boeing-case – is serious about and committed to achieving compliance.
• That new set of compliance measures were subject to an assessment by a compliance panel and that panel’s report was issued on 2 December 2019. As noted in our statement during the December meeting of the DSB, the EU is of the view that significant aspects of the compliance panel’s report cannot be regarded as legally correct and are very problematic from a systemic perspective when it comes to assessing compliance with the subsidy disciplines of the WTO agreements. It is in order to have these legal errors corrected, and not – as the US asserts – to continue litigation for the sake of litigation, that the EU has filed an appeal against the compliance panel’s report on 6 December 2019.
• We are concerned that with the current blockage of the two-step multilateral dispute settlement system, we are losing the possibility of a proper appellate review of the serious flaws contained in the panel report. While the blockage continues, we stand ready to discuss with the US alternative ways to deal with this appeal. We are also committed to finding a balanced negotiated solution with the US that would allow leaving both aircraft disputes behind us.
• These considerations do not, however, alter the fact that the compliance proceeding in this dispute has not been concluded.
• Whether or not the matter is “resolved” in the sense of Article 21.6 of the DSU remains the very subject matter of this ongoing litigation. How can it be said that the defending party should submit “status reports” to the DSB in these circumstances?
• The EU would be very concerned with a reading of Article 21.6 of the DSU that would require the defending party to notify the purported “status of its implementation efforts” through the submission of status reports to the DSB, while dispute settlement proceedings on that precise issue are ongoing. The EU notes that its reading of the provision is supported by other WTO Members.
• The view of the EU is further supported by Article 2 of the DSU on the administration of the dispute settlement rules and procedures: where, further to the disagreement between the parties on compliance, a matter is with the adjudicators, it is temporarily taken out of the DSB’s surveillance.
AGENDA POINT 4: INDIA – TARIFF TREATMENT ON CERTAIN GOODS IN THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY SECTOR
A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS582/9)
• The EU has already raised this issue at the meeting of the DSB of 5 March 2020. We would like to recall that India, in the framework of the WTO, has taken the commitment not to apply import duties on information and communications technology (ICT) products. However, for several years, it has adopted measures to reintroduce and regularly increase import duties on those products, up to 20%, and this despite the tariffs of its WTO bound Schedule of concessions on those products.
• The EU has raised the issue of India’s tariffs on ICT products a number of times bilaterally as well as in various WTO’s fora. Unfortunatelly withtout solving the problem so far. The value of EU’s annual exports of concerned goods to India amounts to around EUR 400 million.
• The consultations meeting of 21 May 2019 was only useful in clarifying a certain number of points but failed to solve the problem. The EU keeps urging India to bring its tariffs on ICT products in line with its WTO obligations.
• To this end, at the DSB meeting of 28 February 2020 (resumed on 5 March 2020), the EU requested the establishment of a panel. India opposed this request at that meeting. Today, the EU requests for the second time the establishment of a panel in this case to assess fully India’s measures.
• In addition, the EU requests the establishment of one single panel in this case and in two other cases which cover the same Indian measures: DS 584, initiated by Japan and DS 588 initiated by the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, both of them are at the agenda of today’s meeting.
• All the three cases are “related to the same matter” under Article 9.1 of the DSU i.e. 1) they all identify India’s same tariff treatments of mostly identical ICT products, which are specified in the form of tariff lines in their respective panel requests; and 2) they all provide the same legal basis of complaints, i.e. a violation of tariff concessions that India has committed to within the legal framework of the WTO on these ICT products, under Article II of the GATT 1994.
• The EU believes that the establishment of a single panel to examine the complaints in these three cases is feasible, as consultation meetings have already taken place in all three cases, and would in no way impair India’s rights under the DSU. Indeed, establishing a single panel would be desirable in these disputes as a way to organise the examination of this matter in an orderly and efficient manner, since this would save both time and human resources for India and each complainant. Such consideration is more pertinent today than ever under the current circumstances COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon us.
AGENDA POINT 5: COLOMBIA – ANTI-DUMPING DUTIES ON FROZEN FRIES FROM BELGIUM, GERMANY AND THE NETHERLANDS
A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE EUROPEAN UNION (WT/DS591/2)
• The EU has serious concerns about the investigation leading to the imposition by Colombia of anti-dumping duties on frozen fries from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. These relate to almost all aspects of the investigation, from initiation, to the analyses on dumping, injury, causality as well as the respect of certain procedural rights.
• The EU will not repeat here the more systemic concerns to which it has drawn the attention of the other WTO Members during the last DSB meeting.
• The EU is, however, concerned that Colombia might extend these anti-dumping duties through an expiry review. We would therefore ask Colombia to confirm whether the domestic industry has submitted an application for an expiry review of the measures?
• Finally, the EU urges Colombia not to extend and to bring its unwarranted anti-dumping duties imposed on frozen fries from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany in line with its WTO obligations. To this end, the EU requests the establishment of a panel to assess the WTO-compatibility of these duties.
AGENDA POINT 6: INDIA – TARIFF TREATMENT ON CERTAIN GOODS
A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE JAPAN (WT/DS584/9)
⦁ The EU would like to support the proposal of establishing one single panel in the three cases filed by Japan, the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu and the EU for the reasons already mentioned under item 4.
AGENDA POINT 7: INDIA – TARIFF TREATMENT ON CERTAIN GOODS IN THE INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY SECTOR
A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE SEPARATE CUSTOMS TERRITORY OF TAIWAN, PENGHU, KINMEN AND MATSU (WT/DS588/9)
⦁ The EU would like to support the proposal of establishing one single panel in the three cases filed by the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, Japan and the EU for the reasons already mentioned under item 4.
AGENDA POINT 9: THE EUROPEAN UNION – CERTAIN MEASURES CONCERNING PAIL OIL AND OIL PALM CROP-BASED BIOFUELS
A. REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY INDONESIA (WT/DS593/9)
• The European Union takes note of Indonesia's decision to request a WTO panel on certain measures concerning pail oil and oil palm crop-based biofuels imposed by the European Union.
• The European Union recalls that it held constructive consultations with Indonesia on 19 February 2020. We had expressed hope that the consultations had provided the necessary information and clarifications.
• Indonesia is of course entitled to bring this matter to dispute settlement in the WTO, but the European Union firmly believes that its measures are fully justified.
• For these reasons, the European Union is confident that it will prevail in this dispute, and that its actions will be declared in line with WTO law.
• In today’s meeting, the European Union is not ready to accept the establishment of a panel.
AGENDA POINT 10: AUSTRALIA – CERTAIN MEASURES CONCERNING TRADEMARKS, GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS AND OTHER PLAIN PACKAGING REQUIREMENTS APPLICABLE TO TOBACCO PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING
A. REPORT OF THE APPELLATE BODY (WT/DS435/AB/R AND WT/DS435/AB/R/ADD. 1) AND REPORT OF THE PANEL (WT/DS435/R AND WT/DS435/R/ADD. 1 AND WT/DS435/R/SUPPL. 1)
B. REPORT OF THE APPELLATE BODY (WT/DS441/AB/R AND WT/DS441/AB/R/ADD. 1) AND REPORT OF THE PANEL (WT/DS441/R AND WT/DS441/R/ADD. 1 AND WT/DS441/R/SUPPL. 1)
⦁ The EU welcomes this Appellate Body report which closes particularly long proceedings and supports its approval by the DSB. The EU would like to make two specific comments.
⦁ First, this report definitely clarifies that both trade and domestic policies following other objectives can co-exist. The WTO rules clarified in this case confirm that public policies of its Members can be perfectly compatible with WTO although they impose restrictions to trade, and. In the present case, the protection of imports and of trademarks has been found as not prevailing over the protection of public health. Hence, this confirms once more, in a high-stake dispute, that trade and other public interests are not mutually exclusive. This Appellate Body report is a milestone in the world of trade law. The Appellate Body report recalls the balance between that trade and other public interests and reinforces WTO rules in terms of connection with other policy objectives. This can only strengthen the credibility of the WTO.
⦁ Second, this report is the last Appellate Body report for a while as no further such reports are expected in the short term. Based on this report, the EU would like to stress and applaud the importance of the contribution which the Appellate Body has made to the multilateral, rules-based system of the WTO. It has shown, once more, how valuable a two-level judicial system is. The EU reiterates its regret that the Appellate Body is blocked by the appointment of its members and remains ready to consider improvements to bring to the Appellate Body in order to unblock the current situation. The EU once more calls all the WTO members to take the Appellate Body’s added value into account and to find a solution to the current crisis. We all need a well-functioning appeal mechanism, we all need a well-functioning WTO, we all need a multilateral rules-based system.
AGENDA POINT 11: THAILAND – CUSTOMS AND FISCAL MEASURES ON CIGARETTES FROM THE PHILIPPINES
A. STATEMENT BY THE CHAIRMAN ON CONSULTATIONS WITH THAILAND AND THE PHILIPPINES WITH REGARD TO THE RECOURSE TO ARTICLE 22.2 OF THE DSU (WT/DS371/32)
B. STATEMENT BY THE PHILIPPINES
C. STATEMENT BY THAILAND
⦁ This dispute illustrates the disruptive effects of the paralysis of the Appellate Body on the functioning of the WTO dispute settlement system and on the rights of the parties in disputes. Under the DSU, the Philippines is entitled to a binding resolution of the dispute and it is also entitled to ultimately suspend concessions or other obligations if the inconsistency persists. Thailand on the other hand is entitled, under the DSU, to an appeal review of the compliance panel report.
⦁ In these extraordinary circumstances, the EU calls on the parties concerned to seek an agreed solution that would preserve the above rights for both parties in a balanced manner. The EU would like to point out that the parties could decide to submit the suspended appeal for completion under an appeal arbitration procedure pursuant to Article 25 of the DSU. Such an appeal arbitration procedure could, for all practical purposes, replicate all substantive and procedural aspects of Appellate Review.
⦁ The EU trusts that the DSB Chair can assist the parties in reaching such a solution.
AGENDA POINT 12: UNITED STATES – COUNTERVAILING MEASURES ON SUPERCALENDERED PAPER FROM CANADA
A. RECOURSE TO ARTICLE 22.2 OF THE DSU BY CANADA
⦁ The European Union would like refer to its position expressed at the last DSB meeting on this issue. In particular, the European Union would like to stress the following: for us, there is not a shadow of a doubt that the report we have in front of us is a report of the Appellate Body and it has been validly adopted in accordance with the rules applicable for the adoption of Appellate Body reports under Article 17.14 of the DSU, i.e. by negative consensus – just as has been the case for all other Appellate Body reports.
⦁ The European Union recalls that the rules and procedures of the DSU exclude the right of any particular WTO Member to block the adoption of panel or Appellate Body reports.
⦁ This is a central feature of the DSU, and a major difference with the dispute settlement mechanism that operated under the GATT 1947.
⦁ Article 17.14 of the DSU is clear: "[a]n Appellate Body report shall be adopted by the DSB and unconditionally accepted by the parties to the dispute unless the DSB decides by consensus not to adopt the Appellate Body report […].
⦁ The EU also wishes to point out again that the Rules of Conduct provide for a procedure to be followed, by the parties to disputes, if they have evidence of a material violation of the obligations of independence, impartiality or confidentiality or the avoidance of direct or indirect conflicts of interest by covered persons which may impair the integrity, impartiality or confidentiality of the dispute settlement mechanism. If this occurs, the parties shall at the earliest possible time and on a confidential basis, submit such evidence to the standing Appellate Body. Other Members who possess or come into possession of such evidence, may provide such evidence to the parties to the dispute in the interest of maintaining the integrity and impartiality of the dispute settlement mechanism. It shall be for the standing Appellate Body to take any appropriate action after having provided a reasonable opportunity for the views of the person concerned and the parties to the dispute to be heard.
⦁ The EU is not aware of whether such procedure has been followed in this instance.
⦁ Therefore, under the applicable rules, the EU sees no reason to question the validity of the Appellate Body report for the purposes of the adoption procedure under Article 16.4 of the DSU.
⦁ Finally, the EU would like to assert that in the presence case and in view of the request by the United States the matter in front is then referred to arbitration by the DSB pursuant to Article 22.6 DSU automatically or by operation of law (ipso iure).
AGENDA POINT 13: MULTI-PARTY INTERIM APPEAL ARBITRATION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 25 OF THE DSU (JOB/DSB/1/ADD. 12)
A. STATEMENTS BY THE MPIA PARTICIPANTS
Dear Mr Chairman,
⦁ The statement I am delivering is on behalf of the 21 Members that you just indicated.
⦁ Since December 2019, the Appellate Body has been unable to function, due to an insufficient number of its members.
⦁ Against this backdrop, on 30 April last, a group of Members communicated to the Dispute Settlement Body the Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement pursuant to Article 25 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) (known as the “MPIA”). So far, 21 WTO Members have endorsed this arrangement. With the communication of the MPIA on 30 April, and with this statement, the Members participating in the MPIA wish to ensure maximum clarity and transparency towards the rest of the Membership as to how, in the very specific situation where the Appellate Body is unable to function, we intend to deal with disputes between ourselves.
⦁ As its full name confirms, the MPIA is an interim arrangement, designed to remain in place only until a lasting improvement to the Appellate Body situation is found and is not meant to “reform” the dispute settlement process. This interim arrangement is intended to operate within the WTO framework, on the basis of Article 25 of the DSU.
⦁ That Article 25 of the DSU requires parties envisaging “arbitration within the WTO” to ”agree on the procedures to be followed”. The MPIA is in essence a political commitment to conclude appeal arbitration agreements in accordance with Article 25 of the DSU in disputes among participating Members. The MPIA is put into practice in specific disputes through individual arbitration agreements based on the model contained in the communication of 30 April last.
⦁ Procedures under these agreements are based on those of appellate review, as agreed to by all WTO Members in Article 17 of the DSU. The intention is to preserve, in disputes among Members participating in the MPIA, a functioning and two-step dispute settlement process, as envisaged by the DSU. This ensures that a positive solution can be secured in such disputes in line with Article 3.7 of the DSU.
⦁ Consequently, the main features of the MPIA are as follows.
⦁ The MPIA applies to all disputes between participating Members, except those where the interim panel report has already been issued by the date of the MPIA communication or by the date of its endorsement by a new participant. However, this does not preclude Members from resorting to the model arbitration agreement for more advanced disputes.
⦁ Participants undertake to conclude an arbitration agreement and to notify it pursuant to Article 25.2 of the DSU within a specified time limit.
⦁ Panel proceedings take place as usual.
⦁ Towards the very end of the panel proceeding, any party may request the suspension of the panel proceedings, with a view to submitting the final panel report to appeal arbitration under Article 25 of the DSU.
⦁ If neither party appeals under this appeal arbitration procedure, the panel report is circulated and adopted by the DSB in the usual way. In particular, the parties agree not to appeal before the non-operational Appellate Body. Therefore, the MPIA also preserves the possibility of a binding resolution of disputes at panel stage, if no party chooses to appeal under the MPIA.
⦁ If there is an appeal under Article 25 of the DSU, the task of appeal arbitrators will be to review issues of law raised by the parties concerning the panel report. Arbitrators may only address the issues necessary to resolve the dispute. Reflecting Article 3.2 of the DSU, and as reaffirmed in the MPIA, arbitration awards “cannot add to or diminish the rights and obligations provided in the covered agreements”.
⦁ Appeals covered by the MPIA will be dealt with by three arbitrators selected randomly from a pool of 10 standing arbitrators. The pool of arbitrators will be made up of persons of recognized authority and demonstrated expertise. The participating Members are currently in the process of establishing this pool, with a view to ensuring that it comprises only persons of the highest calibre.
⦁ The arbitration award will be final and binding on the parties. In accordance with Article 25 of the DSU, Articles 21 and 22 of the DSU will apply to arbitration awards, which are to be notified to the Dispute Settlement Body.
⦁ Third parties, irrespective of whether they have endorsed the MPIA, will be able to participate in appellate proceedings under the MPIA to the same extent as they do today.
⦁ To a large extent, arbitration in cases covered by the MPIA are governed, with any necessary adjustments for context, by the provisions of the DSU and other rules and procedures applicable to appellate review under the DSU. The MPIA arbitration agreement keeps the core features of appellate review, including independence and impartiality.
⦁ At the same time, the model MPIA arbitration agreement contains some procedural innovations, to enhance the procedural efficiency of the proceedings in the specific context of Article 25 DSU arbitration.
⦁ After this general introduction to the MPIA, we wish to reiterate that our clear priority is to find a lasting improvement to the WTO Appellate Body situation. We remain fully committed to working with the whole WTO Membership to achieve this. We believe that a properly functioning WTO dispute settlement system is of crucial importance for rules-based international trade, and that an impartial appeal stage must continue to be one of its essential features.
⦁ In the meantime, it was our wish, and also our obligation vis-à-vis our respective constituents, to preserve our WTO rights on an interim basis through such an arrangement. The MPIA intends to achieve no more and no less than this. It does not reduce the rights of, nor create new obligations for, non-participating Members.
⦁ The MPIA allows participating Members to preserve both their right to an appeal review of panel reports and their right to a binding positive solution to disputes through adjudication in accordance with the DSU. The very existence of the MPIA reinforces the stability of the rules-based trading system.
⦁ As already mentioned, the MPIA is put into practice in specific disputes through arbitration agreements pursuant to Article 25 of the DSU. Proceedings under such agreements fall to be supported by the WTO Secretariat and financed from the WTO budget, as any other dispute settlement proceedings in accordance with the DSU are.
⦁ It is for the WTO Director-General to decide how to organise support for arbitration procedures under Article 25 of the DSU. The Members participating in the MPIA envisage in this regard a separation from the support provided to the work of panels in order to ensure impartiality and avoid potential conflicts of interest in individual appeal cases.
⦁ Openness and inclusion are important aspects of the MPIA. It provides that any Member may join it at any time, by notification to the DSB that it endorses the MPIA communication.
⦁ Even more importantly, we urge all Members to work together, with energy and commitment, to achieve an improvement of the Appellate Body system and launch the Appellate Body selection as early as possible, so that the contingency measure that is the MPIA is soon no longer required.
AGENDA POINT 15: APPELLATE BODY APPOINTMENTS
• The European Union refers to its statements on this issue in previous meetings, starting in February 2017 and to its statement in the General Council meetings, including last time on 9 December 2019.
• Since 11 December 2019, the WTO no longer guarantees access to a binding, 2 tier, independent and impartial resolution of trade disputes. This is in clear breach of the WTO Agreements.
• As we have said so many times, WTO Members have a shared responsibility to resolve this issue as soon as possible, and to fill the outstanding vacancies as required by Article 17.2 of the DSU.
• We thank all Members that have co-sponsored the proposal to launch the appointment processes. We invite all other Members to endorse this proposal.