The Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) makes decisions on trade disputes between governments that are adjudicated by the Organization. Its decisions generally match those of the Dispute Panel.
The DSB is, in effect, a session of the General Council of the WTO: that is, all of the representatives of the WTO member governments, usually at ambassadorial level, meeting together. It decides the outcome of a trade dispute on the recommendation of a Dispute Panel and (possibly) on a report from the Appellate Body of WTO, which may have amended the Panel recommendation if a party chose to appeal. Only the DSB can make these decisions: Panels and the Appellate Body are limited to making recommendations.
The DSB uses a special decision procedure known as 'reverse consensus' or 'consensus against' that makes it almost certain that the Panel recommendations in a dispute will be accepted. The process requires that the recommendations of the Panel (as amended by the Appellate Body) should be adopted "unless" there is a consensus of the members against adoption. This has never happened, and because the nation 'winning' under the Panel's ruling would have to join this reverse consensus, it is difficult to conceive of how it ever could.
Once it has decided on the case, i.e., whether the complaint had been shown to be right or wrong, the DSB may direct the 'losing' Member to take action to bring its laws, regulations or policies into conformity with the WTO Agreements. This is the only direction that emerges from a WTO dispute. There is no concept of "punishment" or even restitution. The DSB will give the losing party a "reasonable period of time" in which to restore the conformity of its laws etc.
If the losing party fails to restore the conformity of its laws within the "reasonable period of time", the DSB may—on an exceptional basis—authorise a successful complainant to take retaliatory measures to induce action on the part of the losing party. This is very rare. Almost all WTO members "voluntarily" implement DSB decisions in time. Of course, when a losing country brings its laws etc. into conformity it may choose how to do so; indeed, it may not necessarily make the changes that the winning party would prefer.
The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is a free trade area, outlined in the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 52 of the 55 African Union nations. The free-trade area is the largest in the world in terms of participating countries since the formation of the World Trade Organization.The agreement was brokered by the African Union (AU) and was signed on by 44 of its 55 member states in Kigali, Rwanda on March 21, 2018. The agreement initially requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimates that the agreement will boost intra-African trade by 52 percent by 2022. The proposal was set to come into force 30 days after ratification by 22 of the signatory states. On April 2, 2019, The Gambia became the 22nd state to ratify the agreement, and on April 29 the Saharawi Republic made the 22nd deposit of instruments of ratification; the agreement went into force on May 30 and will enter its operational phase following a summit on July 7, 2019.Appellate Body
The Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization (WTOAB) is a standing body of seven persons that hears appeals from reports issued by panels in disputes brought on by WTO members. The WTOAB can uphold, modify or reverse the legal findings and conclusions of a panel, and Appellate Body Reports, once adopted by the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB), must be accepted by the parties to the dispute. The WTOAB has its seat in Geneva, Switzerland. It has been termed by at least one journalist as "effectively the supreme court of world trade".Beef hormone controversy
The Beef Hormone Dispute is one of the most intractable agricultural controversies since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO).It has sometimes been called the "beef war" in the media, similarly to the UK-EU Beef war over the mad cow disease issue, creating some confusion, since these two wars overlapped in time.
In 1989, the European Union banned the importation of meat that contained artificial beef growth hormones approved for use and administered in the United States. Originally, the ban covered six such hormones but was amended in 2003 to permanently ban one hormone —estradiol-17β — while provisionally banning the use of the five others. WTO rules permit such bans, but only where a signatory presents valid scientific evidence that the ban is a health and safety measure. Canada and the United States opposed this ban, taking the EU to the WTO Dispute Settlement Body. In 1997, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body ruled against the EU.Dispute settlement in the World Trade Organization
Dispute settlement or dispute settlement system (DSS) is regarded by the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the central pillar of the multilateral trading system, and as the organization's "unique contribution to the stability of the global economy". A dispute arises when one member country adopts a trade policy measure or takes some action that one or more fellow members considers to be a breach of WTO agreements or to be a failure to live up to obligations. By joining the WTO, member countries have agreed that if they believe fellow members are in violation of trade rules, they will use the multilateral system of settling disputes instead of taking action unilaterally — this entails abiding by agreed procedures—Dispute Settlement Understanding—and respecting judgments, primarily of the Dispute Settlement Board (DSB), the WTO organ responsible for adjudication of disputes. A former WTO Director-General characterized the WTO dispute settlement system as "the most active international adjudicative mechanism in the world today." Chad P. Bown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics and Petros Mavroidis of Columbia Law School remarked on the 20th anniversary of the dispute settlement system that the system is "going strong" and that "there is no sign of weakening".EC-IT product dispute
European communities and its member states — tariff treatment of certain information technology products or for short EC - IT Product Dispute (DS376) is a WTO dispute initiated by Japan with European Communities and its member states as respondents. Dispute was initiated on September 28, 2008 and was settled on August 16, 2010, with Dispute Settlement Body recognizing European Union's violations.Japanese Sound Recording Trade Disputes
In 1996, the European Community and United States filed complaints with the WTO against Japan concerning their distribution and protection of sound recordings that originated in their respective states. Both disputes accused Japan of violating numerous articles of the TRIPS Agreement. Both disputes were settled in December 1997, with the involved parties finding mutually agreeable solutions. DS28 was the first case ever brought to the WTO's dispute settlement body based on the TRIPS Agreement.List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP (nominal)
This is a list of Latin American and Caribbean countries by gross domestic product (nominal) in USD according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates in the October 2018 World Economic Outlook database.
Cuba is not included in the list due to lack of economic data. Puerto Rico is not listed since it is a U.S. territory.List of Latin American and Caribbean countries by GDP growth
This is a list of estimates of the real gross domestic product growth rate (not rebased GDP) in Latin American and Caribbean states for the latest years recorded in the CIA World Factbook. States are not included if their latest growth estimate was for a year prior to 2014. The list contains some non-sovereign territories.Lomé Convention
The Lomé Convention is a trade and aid agreement between the European Economic Community (EEC) and 71 African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries, first signed in February 1975 in Lomé, Togo.Peace Clause
Trade negotiators generally refer to Article 13 of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Agriculture as the Peace Clause. Article 13 holds that domestic support measures and export subsidies of a WTO Member that are legal under the provisions of the Agreement on Agriculture cannot be challenged by other WTO Members on grounds of being illegal under the provisions of another WTO agreement.
The Peace Clause has expired on January 1, 2004. It is now possible, therefore, for developing countries and nations favoring free trade in agricultural goods, such as the Cairns Group, to use the WTO dispute settlement mechanism in order to challenge, in particular, U.S. and EU export subsidies on agricultural products.
Another temporary peace clause was made at the WTO Bali conference in December 2013. It stipulated that no country would be legally barred from food security programs for its own people even if the subsidy breached the limits specified in the WTO Agreement on Agriculture.Rare earths trade dispute
The rare earths trade dispute, between China on one side and several countries led by the US on the other, was over China's export restrictions on rare earth elements as well as Tungsten and Molybdenum, which are used to make many electronics. China controls 97% of the production of these elements. The US, EU and Japan argued that the restrictions were a violation of the WTO trade regulations, while China stated that the restrictions are aimed at resource conservation and environmental protection. In 2012, the Obama administration filed a case with the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO. In 2014, the WTO ruled against China, which led China to drop the export quotas in 2015.World Trade Organization Dispute 160
On January 26, 1999, the European Communities (EC) and its Member States requested consultation with the United States concerning a dispute over discrepancies between the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs Agreement) and Section 110(5) of the United States Copyright Act amended by the Fairness in Music Licensing Act. The dispute was over the legality of “the playing of radio and television music in public places (such as bars, shops, restaurants etc.) without the payment of a royalty fee” (World). The disputed parties worked through the existing process of WTO Dispute Settlement. First the EC lodged a complaint against the US with the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) and requested consultation over the dispute. Then the parties requested a panel leading to the body’s eventual formation, followed by the circulation of the panel report. The parties accepted the Panel Report without appeal and the dispute ended in arbitration over implementation of the panel’s recommendations. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and Switzerland acted as third parties in this dispute (World).World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1996
The World Trade Organization's Ministerial Conference of 1996 was held in Singapore on December 9 - December 13, 1996. The inaugural meeting for the organisation since its formation. The event was hosted by the government of Singapore at the Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Suntec City.
The conference established four permanent working groups: transparency in government procurement, trade facilitation (customs issues), trade and investment, and trade and competition. These groups collectively are called the Singapore issues.World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1998
The Second Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization was held in Geneva, Switzerland between 18 and 20 May 1998.World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2009
The WTO General Council, on 26 May 2009, agreed to hold a seventh WTO ministerial conference session in Geneva from 30 November - 3 December 2009. A statement by chairman Amb. Mario Matus acknowledged that the prime purpose was to remedy a breach of protocol requiring two-yearly "regular" meetings, which had lapsed with the Doha Round failure in 2005, and that the "scaled-down" meeting would not be a negotiating session, but "emphasis will be on transparency and open discussion rather than on small group processes and informal negotiating structures". The general theme for discussion is "The WTO, the Multilateral Trading System and the Current Global Economic Environment".World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2011
The WTO General Council held an eighth WTO ministerial conference session in Geneva from 15–3 December 2011.
Membership agreement where made for Russia, Samoa, and Montenegro, dependent on the ratification of those countries. The consent of Russia`s membership was seen as important, since the country had been the largest major economy outside the organization since the accession of China in 2001.World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2013
The Ninth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Bali, Indonesia from 3 to 7 December 2013. The conference was chaired by the Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan.In this conference, 159 members of World Trade Organization agreed to the Bali Package which aims to ease barriers to international trade.Yemen's agreement was also registered, dependent on the country's membership ratification.World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2015
The Tenth World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya from 15 to 19 December 2015. The conference was chaired by the Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohamed.Afghanistan and Liberia acceded to the WTO, bringing the total membership of the organization to 164, with the total number of least-developed countries who have joined since 1995 rising to nine.World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 2017
The 11th World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 11 to 13 December 2017. It was chaired by Minister Susana Malcorra of Argentina. The Conference ended with a number of ministerial decisions, including on fisheries subsidies and e-commerce duties, and a commitment to continue negotiations in all areas. The conference also led to the formation of working party to enable faster induction of South Sudan in the WTO.