WTO News Item, 27 September 2006
Delegates, journalists, NGO representatives, scholars and others watched live the proceedings of the “hormones” dispute-settlement panels at the WTO headquarters in Geneva via closed-circuit broadcast on 27 September 2006.
At the request of the parties in the disputes “Continued suspension of obligations in the EC — hormones dispute” (US — Continued suspension of obligations in the EC — hormones dispute, DS320; Canada — Continued suspension of obligations in the EC — hormones dispute, DS321) the panels have agreed to open their proceedings with the parties and scientific experts on 27-28 September 2006 and with the parties on 2-3 October 2006 for observation by WTO Members and the general public.
Summary of the Dispute
The following is the summary report taken from the WTO web site
United States — Continued Suspension of Obligations in the EC — Hormones Dispute
Summary up-to-date at 9 October 2006 - Panels established by DSB/reports not yet circulated
Complaint by the European Communities.
On 8 November 2004, the European Communities filed a request for consultations with the United States asserting that the United States should have removed its retaliatory measures since the EC has removed the measures found to be WTO-inconsistent in the EC — Hormones case.
The issues which the EC intends to raise in the consultations include, but are not limited to:
The EC considers that the continued use by the United States and of retaliatory measures in this case, in the current circumstances, are violations of Articles I and II of GATT 1994, and Articles 21.5, 22.8, 23.1 and 23.2 (a) and (c) of the DSU.
On 17 November 2004, Canada requested to join the consultations. On 19 November 2004, Australia and Mexico requested to join the consultations. On 16 December 2004, the United States informed the DSB that it had accepted the request of Canada to join the consultations.
On 13 January 2005, the European Communities requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 25 January 2005, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 17 February 2005, the DSB established a panel. Australia, Canada, China, Mexico and Chinese Taipei reserved their third-party rights. On 23 February 2005, Norway reserved its third party rights. On 25 February 2005, Brazil reserved its third party rights. On 28 February 2005, India and New Zealand reserved their third party rights. On 27 May 2005, the European Communities requested the Director General to compose the panel. On 6 June 2005, the Director-General composed the panel. The first substantive meeting of the Panel with the parties took place on 12-15 September 2005, which was open for observation by the public.
On 20 January 2006, the Chairman of the Panel informed the DSB that due to the complexity of the dispute, and the administrative and procedural matters involved, the panel would not be able to complete its work in six months. Based on the current assessment of the process, the panel expects to issue its final report to the parties in the course of October 2006.