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WTO trade dispute settlement: starting from the key points

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WTO trade dispute settlement: starting from the key points

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Svetlana Zaitseva
FAO

Materials of the workshop on Resolving agricultural trade issues through the WTO organized by FAO in collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine in Kyiv on June 7, 2017.

http://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-events-new/wtokiev/en/
http://www.fao.org/europe/news/detail-news/en/c/892730/

Svetlana Zaitseva
FAO

Materials of the workshop on Resolving agricultural trade issues through the WTO organized by FAO in collaboration with Ukraine’s Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food of Ukraine in Kyiv on June 7, 2017.

http://www.fao.org/economic/est/est-events-new/wtokiev/en/
http://www.fao.org/europe/news/detail-news/en/c/892730/

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WTO trade dispute settlement: starting from the key points

  1. 1. WTO trade dispute settlement: starting from the key points Svetlana Zaitseva Kiev 7 June 2017 1
  2. 2. WTO dispute settlement A trade dispute, it is always :  a specific measure (law, government regulation, court ruling, existing practice (even private if state-controlled))  affecting market access conditions (conditions of trade) for another WTO member, which  potentially violates a balance of rights, i.e. WTO rules 2
  3. 3. WTO dispute settlement: what should we know  Only states can be parties to disputes, i.e. a government vs another government or as a third party  Disputes can be initiated by any WTO member or joinly by several countries (co-complainants)  If a government begins a dispute it doesn’t mean that business is standing by  A dispute may not be initiated by the WTO Secretariat, observer countries, international organizations, regional blocs, or local authorities 3
  4. 4. WTO dispute settlement: what is important to know Don’ts :  Challenge violations of other international treaties at WTO even if trade agreements  Refer settlement of a trade dispute between Members to some other “court” (e.g. the International Court at The Hague) 4
  5. 5. WTO dispute settlement: what is important to know Don’ts:  Challenge trade violations to address politics  Reject a case on the political factor/benefit grounds, etc.  Demand pecuniary compensation for loss (in a case) 5
  6. 6. WTO dispute settlement: following a procedure  One may not impose countermeasures before completing a dispute resolution procedure as per the UNDERSTANDING ON RULES AND PROCEDURES GOVERNMENT THE SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES  … opportunities exist to reach agreement in any stage of a dispute 6
  7. 7. WTO dispute settlement: important to know  One may not initiate a dispute based on notifications and/or the Trade Policy Review Mechanism 7
  8. 8. WTO dispute settlement: what are we seeking  “Recommendations or rulings made by the DSB shall be aimed at achieving a satisfactory settlement of the matter in accordance with the rights and obligations under this Understanding and under the covered agreements.” Mutually agreed solution 8
  9. 9. WTO dispute settlement: substantiation There should always be a legal basis for the violation – a specific article or provisions of:  WTO Agreement, GATT, covered agreements (e.g. TBT, SPS…),  GATS,  TRIPS  agreements with a limited number of parties (e.g. Agreement on Government Procurement),  the country’s commitments undertaken at WTO accession 9
  10. 10. WTO dispute settlement: role of business Business should :  identify an issue (subject of a potential dispute)  assume what it believes has been violated (agreements, articles…)  collect an evidence base on its level  build communication with a relevant body (ministry) that will pursue the case  Amicus curiae 10
  11. 11. WTO dispute settlement: role of government  Listen to business and help it address the issue by choosing a right strategy and right tools  Ensure transparency of its policies and actions, particularly if it is about a dispute  Arrange interagency work and coordination – Ministry of Agriculture (and all services), Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, external experts, legal support 11
  12. 12. WTO dispute settlement: role of government  Ensure official efficient communication with a responding party  Ensure diplomatic follow-up of the case (via its diplomatic mission in Geneva or in other country where consultations and meetings can take place)  Ensure efficient interaction with the WTO Committees, Secretariat, Panel, AB…  Ensure compliance with the DSB ruling (as a losing party) or monitor compliance therewith by a losing party  Consider dispute experience in formulation of its trade policy and especially specific measures 12
  13. 13. Dispute settlement is a teamwork 13
  14. 14. WTO dispute settlement: questions  What is a trade dispute?  What may not be disputed at the WTO?  Is it possible to compensate the damage caused by violation of WTO rules financially?  How can a farmer benefit from WTO disputes? 14
  15. 15. WTO dispute settlement: disputing? Or… 15
  16. 16. WTO dispute settlement Thank you! Svetlana Zaitseva zaitsevas@yahoo.com 16

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