Nueva facilitadora para reforma de la solución de diferencias de la OMC

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Los Miembros de la OMC acogieron con satisfacción el nombramiento de una nueva facilitadora para las negociaciones en curso sobre la reforma de la solución de diferencias en una reunión del Órgano de Solución de Diferencias (OSD) de la OMC celebrada el 26 de abril. Los Miembros también adoptaron formalmente dos informes de grupos especiales de solución de diferencias, uno sobre las medidas de la UE relativas al aceite de palma y los biocombustibles basados en cultivos de palma de aceite procedentes de Malasia y el segundo sobre los derechos antidumping aplicados por Australia a determinadas importaciones procedentes de China.

The Chair of the DSB, Ambassador Petter Ølberg of Norway, noted that on 18 April he communicated to members that Ambassador Usha Dwarka-Canabady of Mauritius had accepted the role of facilitator for the dispute settlement reform talks following the departure of Mr Marco Molina, the convenor of the informal dispute settlement reform process.

The Chair said the new facilitator will report at each regular meeting of the General Council, and to the DSB, as appropriate. She will present a work plan and a timetable for the process at the next General Council meeting in May, he said. The Chair also said that he understood the new facilitator will be consulting on these matters with members in the coming days.

The Chair said he considered that the dispute settlement reform process has now been formalized, meaning that the rules of procedure for meetings of WTO bodies will apply to this process, including interpretation and virtual participation, which will also be available for capital-based officials. In addition, the Chair said he believes that work will proceed in various configurations, as appropriate.

Thirty-six delegations took the floor to welcome Ambassador Dwarka-Canabady’s appointment and to thank her for taking up the task.  Some delegations said they also welcomed that the discussions would now take place on a formal basis, which would ensure greater transparency and inclusiveness.  Others said that the discussions should be based on the interest-based approach and build upon the consolidated text which emerged from the informal process led by Mr. Molina.  Various delegations said it was important to get to work quickly given the goal of securing a fully functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all by 2024, a mandate set by ministers at the WTO’s 12th Ministerial Conference and reaffirmed at the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13).

DS600: European Union and certain Member states — Certain measures concerning palm oil and oil palm crop-based biofuels

Malaysia said it was pleased to note that the findings of the panel upheld Malaysia’s position on important elements of the dispute and that certain EU provisions were inconsistent with the WTO’s most favoured nation and national treatment principles. Malaysia added that it is committed to engage constructively with the EU as well as any other interested parties in identifying mutually beneficial resolutions that adhere to WTO obligations and safeguard the interests of all stakeholders.

The European Union said the panel found that the EU’s second renewable energy directive aimed to achieve legitimate environmental objectives and that the ruling confirmed the legal framework of the directive is WTO compatible provided certain changes are made.

Five members took the floor to comment on the panel’s findings.

The DSB took note of the statements and adopted the panel report.

DS603: Australia – Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Products from China

China said the panel’s findings in this dispute were of systematic importance not only to China but to other WTO members, as it imputes many concepts that Australia applies in its normal value determinations in anti-dumping investigations. Overall, China said it welcomes the adoption of the report and encouraged Australia to properly implement the panel’s findings.

Australia said the ruling provides further confirmation that investigating authorities are afforded flexibilities under the WTO’s Anti-dumping Agreement when constructing normal value and that it would engage in good faith with China to negotiate a reasonable period of time for Australia to bring its measures into conformity with the ruling.

Two members took the floor to comment.

China, Australia and the European Union noted that the parties in the dispute were also parties to the Multi-party interim appeal arrangement which, although not used in this dispute, preserved the WTO rights of both parties in the absence of the Appellate Body.

The DSB took note of the statements and adopted the panel report.

DS597 United States – Origin Marking Requirement (Hong Kong, China)

For the 10th time, the United States raised the matter of the panel ruling in DS597 at a DSB meeting. The US referred back to its previous statements regarding its position on essential security and its reason for placing this item on the DSB agenda.

Hong Kong, China said it has made clear repeatedly its readiness to have the case heard by the Appellate Body and said six panels have all dismissed the US claim that invoking national security in defense of a trade-restrictive measure is entirely self-judging.

China reiterated its concern about the US repeatedly placing this item on the DSB agenda and said it believed that a restored appeal mechanism was the proper place to correct the error made by the panel if any.

DS588: India — Tariff Treatment on Certain Goods in the Information and Communications Technology Sector

Chinese Taipei and India requested additional time for the DSB to consider for adoption the panel rulings in the case initiated by Chinese Taipei regarding India’s tariffs on certain high-tech goods. The parties asked that the DSB further delay consideration of the panel reports until 26 July 2024 in order to help facilitate resolution of the disputes.

The DSB agreed to the latest requests from Chinese Taipei and India.

Appellate Body appointments

Colombia, speaking on behalf of 130 members, introduced for the 75th time the group’s proposal to start the selection processes for filling vacancies on the Appellate Body. The extensive number of members submitting the proposal reflects a common concern over the current situation in the Appellate Body which is seriously affecting the overall WTO dispute settlement system against the best interest of members, Colombia said for the group.

The United States repeated that it does not support the proposed decision to commence the appointment of Appellate Body members as its longstanding concerns with WTO dispute settlement remain unaddressed.

Twenty-six members then took the floor to comment, with two speaking on behalf of groups of members. Many of these members referred to their previous statements made on this matter at earlier DSB meetings and underlined the urgent need to meet the mandates set out at MC12 and MC13 to conduct discussions with the view to having a fully and well-functioning dispute settlement system accessible to all members by 2024.

Colombia said that on behalf of the 130 members it regretted that for the 75th occasion members have not been able to launch the selection processes. Ongoing conversations about reform of the dispute settlement system should not prevent the Appellate Body from continuing to operate fully, and members shall comply with their obligation under the Dispute Settlement Understanding to fill the vacancies as they arise, Colombia said for the group.

Other business

Japan said it will continue to pay close attention to the actions taken by China to implement the panel findings in DS601, «China — Anti-Dumping measures on stainless steel products from Japan» and looks forward to seeing China bring its measures into full conformity with its WTO obligations before the expiry of the reasonable period of time on 8 May. Japan said it expects to hear from China on its implementation status, in particular its decision that it has abolished its measures, in the next DSB meeting in May.

China said its investigating authority initiated a re-investigation on 9 November. The re-investigation is still ongoing, and the investigating authority will make its determination before the expiry of reasonable period of time, China said.

Surveillance of implementation

The United States presented status reports with regard to DS184, «US — Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan»,  DS160, «United States — Section 110(5) of US Copyright Act», DS464, «United States — Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Measures on Large Residential Washers from Korea», and DS471,»United States — Certain Methodologies and their Application to Anti-Dumping Proceedings Involving China.»

The European Union presented a status report with regard to DS291, «EC — Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products.»

Indonesia presented its status reports in DS477 and DS478, «Indonesia — Importation of Horticultural Products, Animals and Animal Products.»

Fuente: OMC