Permanent Mission of the European Union to
the World Trade Organization (WTO)

 

EU Statements at the Regular Dispute Settlement (DSB) meeting, 28 January 2019

Geneva, 31/01/2019 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 190131_6
Local Statements

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.166) 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.

AS DELIVERED

REGULAR DSB MEETING – 28 JANUARY 2019

 

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.129)

 

  • 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.
  • On 19 December 2018, the Commission adopted 2 authorisations for GMOs for food and feed use: 1 new GM maize[1]  and the renewal of 1 GM maize[2].
  • On 14 January 2019, four draft authorisations - one for a renewal of GM oilseed rape[3], two for new GM maize[4] and one for new cotton[5] - were presented for a vote in the Appeal Committee with “no opinion” result. It is now for the Commission to decide on these authorisations.
  • Also on the same day, three draft authorisations for new GM maize [6] were presented for a vote in a Member States Committee with “no opinion” result. These measures will now be submitted for a vote in the Appeal Committee in February.
  • The EU continues to be committed to act in line with its WTO obligations. As stated many times before, the EU recalls that the EU approval system is not covered by the DSB's recommendations and rulings.

 

Second Intervention

  • No EU country has imposed any ban. Moreover, under the terms of the Directive, a Member State could adopt measures restricting or prohibiting cultivation only if such measures are in line with EU law, reasoned, proportional and non-discriminatory and based on compelling grounds.
  • In July 2018, the European Court of Justice provided important clarification on the scope of application of the GMO legislation in relation to organisms obtained by mutagenesis techniques.
  • The Court of Justice ruled that organisms obtained by means of new techniques/methods of mutagenesis, which have appeared or have been mostly developed since the adoption of Directive 2001/18, fall within the scope of the Directive.
  • The ruling has not extended the scope of the legislation but has clarified how it should be read.
  • The European Commission is now working to ensure proper implementation of the ruling together with the EU Member States. EU Member States are responsible at national level for the relevant control activities regarding the placing on the market of both products produced in the EU and imported ones. To this effect, the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) is helping national laboratories to develop relevant detections methods.
  • There have been many reactions to the outcome of the Court ruling bringing forward a wide range of different views.
  • Amongst these, the Group of Chief Scientific Advisors of the Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) issued a statement on a scientific perspective on regulatory status of products derived from gene editing. This statement focuses on the new mutagenesis techniques and does not put into question previously authorised GMOs.
  • The Group of Chief Scientific Advisors provides independent scientific advice to the Commission. Its work feeds into on-going discussions with all stakeholders.

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AS DELIVERED

REGULAR DSB MEETING – 28 JANUARY 2019

 

AGENDA POINT 2:  BRAZIL – CERTAIN MEASURES CONCERNING TAXATION AND CHARGES

 

A.        IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE DSB

 

  • The EU stands ready to engage in dialogue with Brazil in a constructive manner in the coming weeks, with a view to achieving prompt and full compliance and the positive resolution of this dispute.
  • If immediate compliance is impracticable, we are happy to discuss what the removal of the prohibited subsidies “without delay” entails, as well as the reasonable period of time to bring all other WTO inconsistent measures into compliance.

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AS DELIVERED


REGULAR DSB MEETING – 28 JANUARY 2019

 

AGENDA POINT 3: UNITED STATES – CONTINUED DUMPING AND SUBSIDY OFFSET ACT OF 2000: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

 

 

A. STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN UNION

 

•      The EU requests once again that the United States stops transferring antidumping and countervailing duties to the US industry.

•      Every disbursement that still takes place is clearly an act of non-compliance with DSB recommendations and rulings.

•      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 implemented the WTO ruling.

 

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AS DELIVERED


REGULAR DSB MEETING – 28 JANUARY 2019

 

AGENDA POINT 4:  EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES AND CERTAIN MEMBER STATES – MEASURES AFFECTING TTRADE IN LARGE CIVIL AIRCRAFT: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS ADOPTED BY THE DSB

 

•      As we have indicated in previous meetings, there is a difference between the Airbus case and the Byrd amendment case.

•      In the Byrd Amendment case, the dispute has been adjudicated and there are no further compliance proceedings pending. Under Article 21.6 DSU, the issue of implementation shall remain on the DSB's agenda until the issue is resolved. In the Byrd Amendment case, the EU does not agree with the US assertion that it has implemented the DSB ruling, therefore the issue remains unresolved for the purposes of Article 21.6 DSU.

•      As to the Airbus case, when the Appellate Body report on compliance was issued, the EU notified to the WTO a new set of measures in a compliance communication, tabled at the DSB meeting of 28 May 2018. With respect to the measures included in that communication, the United States expressed a view that the EU has not yet fully complied with the recommendations of the DSB. In response, the European Union requested consultations with the United States, under Articles 4 and 21.5 of the DSU on 29 May 2018. After failure of the latter, the EU asked for the establishment of a compliance panel. The compliance panel was established by the DSB on 27 August 2018. Hence, compliance proceedings in this dispute are still ongoing and whether or not the matter is resolved is the very subject matter of this ongoing litigation.

•      With regard to the US comment on Article 21.6 of the DSU, the EU would be very concerned with a reading of this provision which would require the implementing Member to notify the status of implementation while litigation on this issue is ongoing. This view is further supported by Article 2 of the DSU on the administration of the dispute settlement rules and procedures: in the case at hand, further to the disagreement between the parties on compliance, the DSB exercised its function through the establishment of a (compliance) panel. The matter is currently with the adjudicators and therefore temporarily taken out of the DSB’s surveillance.

 

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AS DELIVERED


REGULAR DSB MEETING – 28 JANUARY 2019

 

AGENDA POINT 6: TURKEY – ADDITIONAL DUTIES ON CERTAIN PRODUCTS FROM THE UNITED STATES

 

 

A.    REQUEST FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PANEL BY THE UNITED (WT/DS561/2)

 

  • During its last meeting on 11 January 2019, the DSB considered for the first time this panel request. As we know, it relates to Turkey’s suspension of GATT obligations in response to the undeclared safeguard measures which the US took to protect its steel and aluminium industries against imports.
  • Today, the DSB will establish this panel, which could mark the end of a long series of meetings in each of which the DSB considers panel requests in relation – either to the safeguard measures which the US has taken starting in March 2018, or to the suspension of GATT obligations in response. This series, alone, is testimony to the strength of the opposition which the US measures on steel and aluminium have generated across the world. Likewise, the number of cases of suspension of GATT obligations is testimony to the strength of this opposition. 
  • Time and again, the United States delivers in this Body hardly changing statements that are intended to make us all believe that the US in good faith took the necessary measures to protect its essential security interests. And that the other WTO Members in bad faith resorted to action that is not allowed. 
  • The EU is confident that these disputes will above all demonstrate that the rules-based multilateral trading system is good enough and strong enough for not allowing the form of abuse of Article XXI of the GATT present in this case. This case does not fit under the requirements of that Article, but serves merely to protect two US industries against competition from imports. The EU is likewise confident that these disputes will confirm the right of WTO Members to resort to their right of suspension under the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, when a safeguard measure has actually been taken, irrespective of how the Member in question has called its measure. 

 

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AS DELIVERED


REGULAR DSB MEETING – 28 JANUARY 2019

 

AGENDA POINT 8 : APPELLATE BODY APPOINTMENTS

 

  • The European Union refers to its statements on this issue in previous meetings, starting in February 2017.
  • 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, so that the appointments can be made as soon as possible.
  • We also wish to recall that concrete proposals have been submitted to the General Council (WT/GC/W/752/Rev. 2 AND WT/GC/W/753/Rev.1) with a view to unblocking the Appellate Body appointments. These proposals constitute a serious effort to address the concerns that have been voiced in connection with the appointments. They are now being discussed under the auspices of the Chairman of the General Council. We invite all Members to engage constructively in these discussions so that the vacancies can be filled as soon as possible.

 

 

 

 

[1] Maize MON 87427 x MON 89034 x 1507 x MON 88017 x 59122

[2] Maize NK603 x MON 810

[3] Renewal of oilseed rapes Ms8, Rf3, Ms8xRf3 (for feed)

[4] Maize 5307 and Maize MON 87403

[5] Cotton GHB614xLLCotton25xMON15985

[6] Maize 4114, Maize MON 87411 and Maize Bt11xMIR162x1507xGA21

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