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USA bringing appeal against report by WTO panel

26.10.2020 − 

In the ongoing trade dispute over Canadian deliveries of sawn softwood to the USA, on 28 September, the USA lodged an appeal against the report by the WTO panel dated 24 August. In the 224-page report, the panel comes to the decision that antidumping and countervailing duties levied by the USA on Canadian sawn-softwood imports are not in accord with the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement). The panel is calling upon the USA to correct its measures accordingly. With the lodged appeal, however, there is no sign of a forthcoming solution to the trade dispute because the retirement of two of the three remaining judges at the WTO in mid-December 2019 means that there is no longer a Supreme Commercial Court with the power to act which could rule on the USA’s appeal.

In a statement, the Canadian ministry of trade dealt harsh criticism of the USA’s behaviour. As the USA has been blocking the appointment of judges for the Supreme Commercial Court of the WTO for many years, the appeal undermines the otherwise usual procedure for such cases.

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