The World Trade Organization (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) has announced that the arbitration on the remedies proposed by the EU (European Union) to counter the United States´ lack of compliance with the DSB recommendations and rulings regarding zeroing, and the subsequent objection by the USA, will be open to the public.
The case dates back to 2003 when the EU submitted a formal request to the DSB for consultations on US zeroing (a mechanism for anti-dumping calculations giving rise to a distorted average price and high import tariffs which are incompatible with WTO rules) which was allegedly damaging certain EU exports to the USA, in particular steel.
Argentina, Brazil, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Norway, and Turkey reserved their third-party rights when the DSB established a panel on March 2004. The panel report was circulated to WTO members on 31 October 2005 but was appealed by both parties on different grounds. On 9 May 2006, the DSB adopted the Appellate Body report and the Panel report as modified by the former. The US and the EU agreed on an 11-month period for the implementation by the USA of the DSB recommendations and rulings on its zeroing practice.
When the USA failed to comply, the EU made a new request for consultations on 9 July 2007. The resulting panel report established that the EU’s claims were founded, but made no further recommendations since the original ones remained operative.
After six and a half years of controversy, on 29 January 2010 the EU requested the DSB’s authorization to remedy the damages suffered by its industries in relation to the case. The USA subsequently objected to the measures proposed by the EU, leading to the recent arbitration announcement to settle the matter once and for all.