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Shrimp -  Turtle case at WTO
 

Shrimp - Turtle case at WTO

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  • -1973 Endangered Species Act is approved. It aims to protect all endangered species from further threats of extinction. While working primarily through and conservation and protection, the ESA also affects harvesting techniques.· 1987 Voluntary guidelines are issued for including turtle exclusionary devices.· 1989 and 1991 Legislation is negotiated to protect all sea turtles in American waters, including Central America and the Caribbean.· 1992 Various NGO's pressure the prohibition to cover international shrimp harvests.· 1996 A full prohibition of all shrimp from any country that does not have sufficient precautions and regulatory agencies to ensure that the catch of sea turtles is lesser than or equal to that of United States.· The United States justified this trade ban by the WTO's Preamble, which states itsobjective to, "protect and preserve the environment."· TED's protect turtles, and international regulations are required because turtles are aninternational resource.· Although the ban may breach Articles of the WTO, its environmental importance andpermanence should allow its exemption.
  • It prohibited the importation of any shrimp harvested using commercial fishing technologies that might harm seaturtles, unless the exporting country is certified by the U.S. administration as having a regulatory program to prevent incidental turtle deaths comparable to that of the United States or is certified as having a fishing environment that does not pose risks to sea turtles from shrimping. where it adopted a program to require shrimpers to use TEDs on their boats; a country could take up to three years to phase in the comprehensive program; further guidelines, issued in 1993, extended somewhat the final deadline by which a foreign country must implement its program in order to be certified. In 1995, environmental NGOs challenged before the U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) the decision of the State Department to limit the application of Section 609 to the greater Caribbean area, as well as certain other interpretations that the State Department had made of the law
  • In 1989, the United States attempted to impose the TED requirement on shrimpers elsewhere in the world. It allows turtles like the loggerhead to escape from trawl nets through a grid of bars at the top or bottom.
  • In 1991 Some countries like Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, French Guyana, and Brazil were required to make a commitment to require all shrimp trawl vessels to use TEDs at all times . nations were given three years for the complete phase-in of a comparable programme.In 1996 Department of State prohibited the importation of shrimp or products of shrimp wherever harvested in the wild with commercial fishing technology which may affect adversely those species of sea turtles the conservation of which is the subject of regulations.While some foreign nations were given ample amount of time to implement the TED technology while the others were’nt provided much time for switching thus a preferential treatment.
  • Five of the seven species of sea turtles found worldwide are reported to occur in Indian coastal waters and the Bay Islands.The turtle was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.All the five species of sea turtles that occur in Indian coastal waters are legally protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972), as well as listed in Appendix I of Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild by signatory countries.The nesting population of olive ridley had increased over the past ten years in the Gahirmatha region, off India's Orissa coast, and every year approximately 600,000 olive ridley sea turtles nested in this area. The local government had banned fishing and shrimping within a radius of 20 kilometres around Gahirmatha to protect these turtles. In addition, 65,000 hectares in the Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha regions had been declared a sea turtle sanctuary.Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute in India monitored olive ridley turtles nesting in some regions during 1978 and 1986, and conducted an exhaustive study on the nesting population. The Institute also operated a hatchery for sea turtles in Madras, from which hatchlings were released at sea.
  • Malaysia submitted that none of the Malaysian fishermen used TEDs. A significant amount of wild harvested shrimps were caught using traditional mechanisms (such as hand retrieval nets) which would not in any way cause incidental catches of turtles.Organizations actively involved in the conservation of turtles included the Fisheries Department, local universities, NGOs (e.g. WWF and the Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences) and corporate bodies (as sponsors of conservation projects).Sabah and Sarawak had turtle protection laws, and fishing trawlers were not allowed to operate within designated areas where turtles mated and nested.  Therefore, in the case of the Sarawak population of green turtles, even in the absence of TEDs, the population had remained constant over a long period and had been sustained.The Turtle Island of Sabah was constituted as a State Park in 1984, after the Sabah State Government had compulsorily acquired the islands from private ownership. In 1988, after 22 years of 100 per cent egg protection, the nesting population of green turtles showed a reversal in its declining trend; nesting density reached a record in 1991.The active enforcement of fishery laws by the Department of Fisheries had successfully kept the trawlers away from the coastal and Turtle Island waters and the existing trawling operations had been successfully kept away from the migration routes of the turtles.Malaysia had a comprehensive legal framework on the conservation and management of marine turtles which were under the jurisdiction of 13 individual states. The states' legislation on turtle protection had been enacted in 1932 and prohibited, inter alia, the capture, killing, injuring, possession or sale of turtles, collection of eggs, disturbing turtles during laying eggs, and provided for the establishment of turtle sanctuaries. Subsidiary legislation had also been enacted, such as the Customs (Prohibition of Export/Import) Orders of 1988, enforced specifically to ban the exports and imports of turtle eggs to and from all countries.Malaysia had cooperated with the Philippines in the launching of the Turtle Island Heritage Protected Area in 1996, to develop uniform conservation measures for the turtles on the islandsThe use of TED alone could not absolutely ensure the survival of turtles.
  • Pakistan stated that its culture embraced a traditional belief that it was sinful to kill sea turtles.  In 1950, Pakistan had passed legislation to protect sea turtles by enacting the Imports and Exports (Control) Act (amended on 13 August 1996), which made it illegal to export protected species, including sea turtles and sea turtle by-products from Pakistan.In addition to laws protecting sea turtles, various public and private organizations in Pakistan were engaged in sea turtle protection programmes. Since 1979, Pakistan's Sindh Wildlife Department was engaged in sea turtle conservation programmes in conjunction with WWF and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).The Sindh Wildlife Department had also engaged in turtle conservation training programs designed to teach the public about the importance of protecting sea turtles. This programme had proven to be extremely effective in preserving and protecting sea turtles. It was estimated that between October 1979 and December 1995 more than 1.5 million sea turtle eggs had been protected and thousands of hatchlings had been released safely to the sea.Pakistan did not accept the US assertion that the use of TEDs was the only way to prevent the extinction of sea turtles and considered the US action to be an unacceptable interference in policies within Pakistan's sovereign jurisdiction. 
  • Thailand submitted that it had a long history of taking action to protect the four species of sea turtles (leatherback, green, hawksbill and olive ridley) within its jurisdiction. The Thai culture embraced a traditional belief that it was sinful to kill sea turtles.As early as 1947, the Fisheries Act had been passed prohibiting the catching, harvesting or harming of any sea turtle. This Act also specified that any accidentally caught turtles had to be released into the sea immediately. Three branches of the Government of Thailand were responsible for sea turtle restoration programmes: the Department of Fisheries, the Department of Forestry, and the Royal Thai Navy. Sea turtle egg collection programmes were run by 5 Marine Fisheries Development Centers and 13 Coastal Aquaculture Development Centers within the Department of Fisheries. The goal of the restoration programmes administered by these institutions was to cultivate and release 5,000 baby sea turtles a year.From 1967 to 1996, there had been no observed incidental sea turtle kills in connection with shrimping. The reason for this was that sea turtles inhabited coral reefs and sea grass beds within three kilometres of the shoreline where shrimp trawling was prohibited.During the fifth meeting of the ASEAN Sectoral Working Group on Fisheries, held on 13-14 March 1997, Thailand had suggested that an agreement be negotiated within ASEAN with respect to sea turtles. The meeting had agreed to authorize Thailand to draft a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") setting forth the steps that could be taken jointly for the protection and conservation of sea turtles. The MOU committed its signatories to the protection, conservation, replenishment and recovery of sea turtles and of their habitats based upon the best available scientific evidence. The MOU also established a Technical Expert Working Group to prepare an ASEAN programme for Sea Turtle Conservation and Protection, coordinated by Malaysia. It also established mutual recognition of each nation's laws and regulations on this subject and called for harmonization of such laws and for the sympathetic consideration of such new laws that might be proposed by the working group.
  • They argued that the use of TED was not the only and most effective device to protect the sea turtles and that TED is not a “multilateral environmental standard” and that “extending the same programme outside the United States was disguised restriction on international trade, because scientific evidence did not demonstrate that shrimp trawling was the principal threat or even an immediate threat to sea turtles elsewhere in the world.In 1996, the Indian government proposed legislation for the requirement of modified "indigenous" TEDs, which they called TSDs (Turtle Saving Devices) to be used by local fishermen. This was a response to the declining olive ridley population that was nesting in beaches such as in Orissa. The modified TSDs were similar to standard TEDs except for having fewer bars. This resulted in the increase of the distance between each pair of bars to ensure that bigger specimens of shrimp and fish were able to pass through the TSD and into the net.It has been acknowledged that the larger sea turtles, primarily large loggerheads and leatherbacks are too large to fit through the escape hatches installed in most TEDs. These turtles remain trapped within the net and perish.TED use becomes impractical due to debris in the water.Result in 10% loss in catch
  • A survey conducted by Gallup which depicts that there has been a decrese in concern for environment in the US.Each year U.S. factories spew 3 million tons of toxic chemicals into the air, land, and water. That compounds the over one-half billion tons of solid hazardous wastesEnvironment Performance Index ..Among132 countries, USA has a ranking of 100 of its ecosystem vitalityUS the 2nd highest producer of Carbon emissionOver time, Americans' concerns about environmental problems have generally declined.A survey was conducted by Gallup which depicted these resultsApart from fishing/shrimping there are the various other reasons for Turtle mortality but rather than creating an international stirs are we doing something to curb these turtle mortality due to these causes1 Artificial lighting2 Magnetic Interference3 Oil spills and marine pollution4 Fishing5 Poaching6 Global warming7 DiseaseOne of the greatest threats to the survival of hatchlings is artificial lighting. When a sea turtle hatches, its evolutionary instincts push it to move towards the brightest light in view, which naturally would be the sun or the moon, leading them toward the ocean horizon and into their new ecosystem.[6] However, due to the continual expansion of cities, construction of condos and hotels on coasts everywhere has grown exponentially. With the invention of the light bulb and therefore artificial light, the sea turtle’s natural source of guiding light has been replaced and is no longer the only or the brightest source of light. With virtually every coast now constantly lit with buildings, the hatchlings become easily confused and turned around, few of them making successful treks to the ocean.[7]Studies support artificial light as the leading cause for hatchling disorientation, showing that in 1999, 51% of the nests studied showed signs of confusion with one-fourth of all the hatchlings headed in the wrong directionFerrous metal wire mesh screens are commonly used to protect sea turtle nests from predators' excavating and devouring the eggs and hatchlings. A new concern is that nestlings' delicate magnetic sense may not develop normally in the presence of the magnetic field interference from these steel mesh cages. Marine pollution is both directly harmful to sea turtles as well as indirectly, through the deterioration of their natural habitats. Some of the most dangerous ocean pollutants include toxic metals, PCBs,fertilizers, untreated waste, chemicals, and a variety of petroleum products. Oil spills are particularly dangerous to sea turtles.
  • In October 1996, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Pakistan challenged the U.S. law under WTO dispute settlement procedures, claiming that it was inappropriate for the United States to prescribe their national conservation policies. In April 1998, a panel found that the U.S. measure was inconsistent with Article XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which provides that WTO Members shall not maintain import restrictions. The United States had maintained that Section 609 fell within the exception under Article XX(g) of the GATT that permits import restrictions relating to the conservation of an exhaustible natural resource. Accordingly, the United States appealed the panel findings to the WTO Appellate Body.
  • Dispute settlement is the central pillar of the multilateral trading system, and the WTO’s unique contribution to the stability of the global economy.Settling disputes is the responsibility of the Dispute Settlement Body (the General Council in another guise), which consists of all WTO members. The Dispute Settlement Body has the sole authority to establish “panels” of experts to consider the case, and to accept or reject the panels’ findings or the results of an appeal. It monitors the implementation of the rulings and recommendations, and has the power to authorize retaliation when a country does not comply with a ruling. First stage: consultation (up to 60 days). Before taking any other actions the countries in dispute have to talk to each other to see if they can settle their differences by themselves. If that fails, they can also ask the WTO director-general to mediate or try to help in any other way. Second stage: the panel (up to 45 days for a panel to be appointed, plus 6 months for the panel to conclude). If consultations fail, the complaining country can ask for a panel to be appointed. The country “in the dock” can block the creation of a panel once, but when the Dispute Settlement Body meets for a second time, the appointment can no longer be blocked (unless there is a consensus against appointing the panel).Officially, the panel is helping the Dispute Settlement Body make rulings or recommendations. But because the panel’s report can only be rejected by consensus in the Dispute Settlement Body, its conclusions are difficult to overturn. The panel’s findings have to be based on the agreements cited.The panel’s final report should normally be given to the parties to the dispute within six months. In cases of urgency, including those concerning perishable goods, the deadline is shortened to three months.The agreement describes in some detail how the panels are to work. The main stages are: Before the first hearing: each side in the dispute presents its case in writing to the panel. First hearing: the case for the complaining country and defence: the complaining country (or countries), the responding country, and those that have announced they have an interest in the dispute, make their case at the panel’s first hearing. Rebuttals: the countries involved submit written rebuttals and present oral arguments at the panel’s second meeting. Experts: if one side raises scientific or other technical matters, the panel may consult experts or appoint an expert review group to prepare an advisory report. First draft: the panel submits the descriptive (factual and argument) sections of its report to the two sides, giving them two weeks to comment. This report does not include findings and conclusions. Interim report: The panel then submits an interim report, including its findings and conclusions, to the two sides, giving them one week to ask for a review. Review: The period of review must not exceed two weeks. During that time, the panel may hold additional meetings with the two sides. Final report: A final report is submitted to the two sides and three weeks later, it is circulated to all WTO members. If the panel decides that the disputed trade measure does break a WTO agreement or an obligation, it recommends that the measure be made to conform with WTO rules. The panel may suggest how this could be done. The report becomes a ruling: The report becomes the Dispute Settlement Body’s ruling or recommendation within 60 days unless a consensus rejects it. Both sides can appeal the report (and in some cases both sides do).AppealsEither side can appeal a panel’s ruling. Sometimes both sides do so. Appeals have to be based on points of law such as legal interpretation — they cannot reexamine existing evidence or examine new issues.Each appeal is heard by three members of a permanent seven-member Appellate Body set up by the Dispute Settlement Body and broadly representing the range of WTO membership. Members of the Appellate Body have four-year terms. They have to be individuals with recognized standing in the field of law and international trade, not affiliated with any government.The appeal can uphold, modify or reverse the panel’s legal findings and conclusions. Normally appeals should not last more than 60 days, with an absolute maximum of 90 days.The Dispute Settlement Body has to accept or reject the appeals report within 30 days — and rejection is only possible by consensus.
  • A procedure for settling disputes existed under the old GATT, but it had no fixed timetables, rulings were easier to block, and many cases dragged on for a long time inconclusively. The Uruguay Round agreement introduced a more structured process with more clearly defined stages in the procedure. It introduced greater discipline for the length of time a case should take to be settled, with flexible deadlines set in various stages of the procedure. The agreement emphasizes that prompt settlement is essential if the WTO is to function effectively. It sets out in considerable detail the procedures and the timetable to be followed in resolving disputes. If a case runs its full course to a first ruling, it should not normally take more than about one year — 15 months if the case is appealed. The agreed time limits are flexible, and if the case is considered urgent (e.g. if perishable goods are involved), it is accelerated as much as possible.The Uruguay Round agreement also made it impossible for the country losing a case to block the adoption of the ruling. Under the previous GATT procedure, rulings could only be adopted by consensus, meaning that a single objection could block the ruling. Now, rulings are automatically adopted unless there is a consensus to reject a ruling — any country wanting to block a ruling has to persuade all other WTO members (including its adversary in the case) to share its viewPanellists are usually chosen in consultation with the countries in dispute. Only if the two sides cannot agree does the WTO director-general appoint them.Members of the Appellate Body have four-year terms. They have to be individuals with recognized standing in the field of law and international trade, not affiliated with any government
  • Tuna dolphin:In this dispute, Mexico was the exporting country concerned. Its exports of tuna to the US were banned. Mexico complained in 1991 under the GATT dispute settlement procedure. The embargo also applies to “intermediary” countries handling the tuna en route from Mexico to the United States. Often the tuna is processed and canned in one of these countries. In this dispute, the “intermediary” countries facing the embargo were Costa Rica, Italy, Japan, and Spain etc.This case still attracts a lot of attention because of its implications for environmental disputes. It was handled under the old GATT dispute settlement procedure. Key questions are:can one country tell another what its environmental regulations should be? Extraterritoriality issuedo trade rules permit action to be taken against the method used to produce goods (rather than the quality of the goods themselves)?Product/Process Issue.On 26 January 1996, the United States requested consultations with the European Communities claiming that measures taken by the EC under the Council Directive Prohibiting the Use in Livestock Farming of Certain Substances Having a Hormonal Action restrict or prohibit imports of meat and meat products from the United States, and are apparently inconsistent with Articles III or XI of the GATT 1994, Articles 2, 3 and 5 of the SPS Agreement, Article 2 of the TBT Agreement and Article 4 of the Agreement on Agriculture.On 25 September 2009, the European Communities and the United States notified the DSB of a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the importation of beef from animals.
  • Immediately when developing countries started enjoying a good growth rate in the export of textiles, the industries in the developed countries felt the pressure of competition. Instead of letting the market operate freely, the developed countries sponsored a separate regime in this sector called the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles, commonly known as the Multi-Fibre Arrangement (MFA), in derogation of the normal GATT rules. Severe restraints on the export of textiles from developing countries imposed under this special regime constrained their industrial growthSimilarly, on jute products and leather products, steel which were exported by developing countries.  the major developed countries did not hesitate to bypass or circumvent the normal GATT disciplines in sectors of particular importance to the developing countries when the exports from developing countries in these sectors were perceived to cause problems for their domestic industry. The normal principle of free and liberal trade was totally forgotten. Their imports have often been subjected to anti-dumping investigations and anti-dumping duties. Even when the investigations did not result in the imposition of duties, the trade would  already have been disrupted by the uncertainty caused by the initiation of the investigation. And more recently, trade-restrictive measures in some sectors have been imposed by some major developed countries taking advantage of the general exceptions clause (Article XX of GATT 1994) on the grounds of protecting the environment., the possibility of retaliation through the operation of the integrated dispute settlement mechanism makes the enforcement of the obligations of developing countries quite effective.
  •  Directly participating in the dispute settlement process either as a complainant or as a defendant has become very complex, because of the intricacies of the legal interpretation which has routinely become a part of the panel or appeal process in the disputes these days.Second, the developed countries have started taking up these negotiations with a new determination to expand the access of their economic entities in developing countries. Their attitude and approach appear to have changed in recent years. The old concept of enlightened self-interest in seeing the harmony of their own long-term prospects with the development of developing countries has been replaced by expectations of immediate gains from expansion of current opportunities in the developing countries, irrespective of its effect on the economies of these countries.Third, the developed countries, particularly the major ones, are more coordinated in their objectives and methods in the WTO, whereas the developing countries have been losing whatever solidarity they had in the past. The developed countries are also now moving with a great deal of confidence in themselves. They feel that they can solve their economic problems by proper coordination of policies among themselves; and they do not see the need for support from developing countries in this regard. This has naturally reduced their sensitivity to the problems of developing countries. A developed country, on the other hand, can start the process with much greater ease. Similarly the developing countries also face a serious handicap in defending themselves in a case in the WTO because of the cost involved. Thus the developing countries are very poorly placed in the WTO in respect of enforcing their rights and ensuring observance of the obligations of  the other countries.In the agriculture sector, the subsidies used mainly by some developed countries (contained in Annex 2 to the Agreement on Agriculture), e.g., those for research and development, crop insurance, resource retirement programmes, etc., have been made immune from any countermeasure, whereas those used generally by developing countries (some of them included in Article 6.2 of the Agreement on Agriculture), e.g., land improvement subsidies and input subsidies, do not enjoy such immunity.
  • Environmentalists also insist that WTO rules need to be changed to accommodate multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs). They want trade sanctions imposed to enforce MEAs, such as the Kyoto protocol on reducing carbon-dioxide emissions, so as to be beyond challenge at the WTO. This is tricky. Clearly, some accommodation is needed. But exemptions from trade rules all too easily become protectionist loopholes. Rich-country parties to an MEA could, for instance, gang up on poor countries on environmental grounds.in such cases the right response is to tackle the root cause of the environmental damage—and not to stop trade.The right way to deal with people’s desire to eat turtle-friendly shrimp, hormone-free beef or whatever is not to impose one country’s values on another: it is to label the products appropriately. Consumers, not governments, can then choose what they eat—and trade can remain free.

Shrimp -  Turtle case at WTO Shrimp - Turtle case at WTO Presentation Transcript

  • Shrimp-TurtleA Case For Developing Countries Group 6: Alisha Sukhija Arnab Moitra Kamaldeep Singh Paritosh Saini Sanchit Gupta Sumit Kumar Jain
  • Agenda • Why Did US Demand TED?(a) • TED – Alternative • Where US flouted rules(b) • Other such cases • Defense by Developing Countries(c) • WTO Rulings & Implications • Conclusion(d)
  • The Past… 1973 Endangered Species Act is approved Voluntary guidelines are issued for including turtle 1987 exclusionary devices Legislation is negotiated to protect all sea turtles in1989 & 1991 American waters, including Central America and the Caribbean. A full prohibition of all shrimp from any country that 1996 does not have sufficient precautions and regulatory measures
  • The Problem
  • Solution to the problem by US TED systems
  • Setback for developing countries Requirements Expensive and they will have to compromise on the cost / comparative advantage Time difference in implementation (implementation to be done within 4 months) Preferential treatment for some countries (ACP countries the main beneficiary) Apart from TED, the US did not accept alternative methods of ensuring lower mortality for turtles
  • India Orissa banned Indian Wildlife fishing, createdFive of the The turtle Protection Act sanctuaries,seven species considered an (1972), CMFRI operatedfound in Indian incarnation of Signatory of a hatchery forcoastal waters Lord Vishnu CITES since 1976 sea turtles in Madras
  • Malaysia (1/2) Laws in place from The use of Active 1932 Sabah and TED alone enforcing of (againstUsed hand Sarawak – could not fishery laws killing ofretrieval Mating and absolutely by the turtles),nets Nesting ensure the Department 1988 areas survival of of Fisheries (Import / turtles Export Prohibition)
  • Malaysia (2/2)
  • Pakistan Sindh Wildlife 1950 - the Department Unacceptable Imports and engaged in interference inCulture - sinful Exports protection policies withinto kill sea (Control) Act to Pakistans programs inturtles protect sovereign conjunction endangered jurisdiction with WWF and species IUCN
  • Thailand Extensive sea Suggested in turtle1947 - the ASEAN restorationFisheries Act 1967 to 1996, no meetings of programs: theprohibiting the observed sea March 1997 to Department ofcatching, turtle killing in draft MOU Fisheries, theharvesting or connection with jointly for the Department ofharming of any shrimping protection and Forestry, andsea turtle conservation of the Royal Thai sea turtles Navy
  • Not for TED VS TSD larger sea turtles Not a “multilateral Debris environmental damaged standard” TEDsNot the only and Is TED Increasedmost effectivedevice the only transaction costs option?
  • Ulterior Motives for USOur tropical The Asian Protectionist Adhering toshrimps had countries had the measures – richermuch more comparative saving its lobbyistsdemand than advantage of domestic representingthe temperate providing industry environmentalshrimps in the shrimps at lower and anglingUS market costs than were interests available domestically
  • Shrimp Turtle WTO Case
  • Dispute Settlement Process STAGE 1 –Consultations (up to 60 days) STAGE 2 – PanelsPanel Appointment( Up to Final Panel Report to Parties Final Panel Report to WTO(3 45 Days) (6 months) weeks)STAGE 3 – Provision of Appeal -Appellate Body Setup(60 days – 90 days) DSB adopts Appeal Report (30days)
  • AdvantagesThe system is based on clearly-defined rules, with timetables Adoption not by consensus but adoption by rejection of consensus Panelists chosen in consultation with the countries in disputeAppellate Body Member are individuals unaffiliated to anyGovernment
  • Case Timeline 4 nations (India, Malaysia, Pakistan & Thailand) jointly haveOct 8th, 1996 consultations with the U.S. Nov 19th, Consultations held without resolution 1996 Jan 9th – India, Malaysia, Pakistan & Thailand request DSB to establish a panel to Feb 25th , look into the US embargo on import of shrimp & shrimp products 1997 April 15th, DSB establishes 3 member panel 1997 April 6th, Panel issues final report and ruling 1998 July 13th, US appeals against the panel’s ruling 1998 Oct 1998 Appellate Body gives its final report
  • Argument by Plaintiff Nations Ban imposed by Ban imposed byEmbargo of the US was the US was inshrimp and inconsistent with contravention ofshrimp products Art XI of GATT Art XIII.I as thewas against the (Art XI limits the ban restrictedMFN principle of use of import importation ofArt I.I of GATT prohibitions or like products restrictions)
  • Argument by United StatesUS measures Measures to Complainants US is incomplied protect sea did not compliancewith the turtles - an introduce with therelevant endangered effective “WTOrequirement natural shrimp / turtle Agreement”of Art XX resource policies
  • Panel Ruling: April 6th, 1998 Ban Imposed by the US inconsistent with GATT Article XIThe import ban applied by the US on the basis of Section 609 of Public Law 101-162 is not consistent with Article XI - Section I of GATT 1994 US could not justify its measure under GATT Art XX (dealing with general exceptions to Art XX) The U.S. measure constituted unjustifiable and arbitrary discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail The Panel made the following RecommendationUnited States bring this measure into conformity with its obligations under the WTO Agreement
  • Appellate Body recommendation and thereafter… • US and parties to the dispute reached agreement on a 13 month compliance period which ended in December 19991 • The US Department of State guidelines for implementing Section 609 was revised and issued after providing notice and an opportunity for public comment2 • US to provide financial and technical assistance (training in the design, construction, installation and operation of TEDs to any government requesting it)3 • In October 2000, Malaysia requested the re-establishment of the original panel to examine whether the United States had in fact complied with the Appellate Body4 findings • The implementation panel ruled in favor of the United States: •Appellate Body ruling was an obligation to negotiate5 •United States had indeed made serious “good faith” efforts to negotiate
  • A few disputes at the WTO…US MEXICO CASE – Dolphin Safe Tuna US EC CASE- Meat without hormones Source: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/dispu_status_e.htm
  • Disputes involving the U.S. Source: http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dispu_e/dispu_maps_e.htm
  • Devil in disguise - Developed Countries “Poor countries hold 40 per cent of the worlds population, but receive only 3 per cent of the worlds income from trade. Rich countries make up 14 per cent of world population and yet get 75 per cent of the income from trade” Rich countries force poorer countries to sell the same products at lower prices than rich countries, by charging exporters many times more import tax simply because they live in a poor country
  • Few examples of unfair trade practicesDiscrimination in case of Clothing, Indias secondCocoa by US and EU. largest export to the US, The average tax rate onHigher the addition of is taxed by Washington Vietnamese goodsvalue by a poor, higher at 19 %. Imports from entering the US is 8 perthe tariffs imposition countries such as France, cent. For Dutch goods it(Germany, Britain against Japan, and Germany are is just 1%Ivory Coast, Ghana) charged at between 0-1 %
  • Developing nations in WTO Attractive opportunities due to free trade among nations Growth of industries in developing nations Domestic industry of developed nations faced competitione.g. Multi-Fibre Restrictions in the form of Trade SanctionsArrangement and Anti-dumping investigations(MFA) forinternationaltrade in WTO has been used as a medium to enforceTextiles restrictions on the developing countries
  • Future of WTO - Challengesbefore developing nationsSubjects and pattern of negotiations have become much morecomplex than in the past The attitude and approach of developed countries appear to have changed in recent years by focusing on immediate gains from current opportunities Developed countries are now more coordinated in their objectives and methods in the WTO and no longer sensitive towards the developing nations in seeking their supportReaching the stage of recommendations and findings in the disputesettlement process has become a very costly and time-intensiveprocedure Source: http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/td8.htm
  • The Hitch…Is globalization a debt-trap for Should free trade be restrictedthe developing and poor in the name of environmentalnations? protection and to what extent? GLOBALIZATIONWTO Members unilaterallyadopting their own conditional Why can’t the consumer makemarket access measures - Does the purchasing decisionit not undermine the instead of the governments?multilateral trading system?
  • Thank You!!!