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January’s DSB regular meeting

This month’s regular meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) had a few interesting developments: three panels were established, an Appellate Body (AB) report was adopted, and an AB Member announced he will be leaving his position as AB Member before his term.

Two panels were established against China. The first one was requested by the EU relating to definitive AD duties on X-Ray security inspection equipment (DS425). US, Japan, India, Norway and Thailand reserved their 3rd party rights in the dispute. The second panel requested by the US relating to AD and CVD measures on Broiler products (DS427). The EU, Japan, Norway, Thailand and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reserved their 3rd party rights. The third panel was requested by the EU against Canada on measures related to the feed-in tariff program (DS426). Japan, China, India, US, Chinese Taipei, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Australia reserved their 3rd party rights.

The AB report on Philippines – Taxes on Distilled Spirits (DS396 and DS403) was adopted. The report was praised by the US for its findings on National Treatment (NT), which found Philippines’ tariff structure non-compliant with its WTO obligations. The Philippines’ appraisal of the report was a bit more restrained, but nevertheless accepted the Report.

Finally, Mr. Shotaro Oshima (Japan) announced he will be leaving the AB before the expiry of his term, citing personal reasons. According to the rules, this will take effect 90 days from the submittal of his resignation (April 6, 2012). The next meeting of the DSB will take place on February 22.