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U.S. Appeals Adverse WTO Ruling on CV Duties on Four Products

The United States has appealed to the WTO Appellate Body a 21 March finding by a compliance panel that the United States failed to comply with a determination that its countervailing duties on certain oil country tubular goods, line pipe, pressure pipe and solar panels are inconsistent with certain provisions of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. In a long-drawn-out report, the compliance panel ruled, among other things, that the United States acted inconsistently with Articles 1.1(b) and 14(d) of the SCM Agreement in the Section 129 proceedings involving these four products, as well as Article 2.1(c) in the Section 129 proceedings involving these and several additional products. The Section 129 proceedings were carried out by the United States in an effort to bring the challenged CV duty measures into compliance with WTO requirements.

Among other things, the United States contends the compliance panel’s finding that the Public Bodies Memorandum is a measure within the scope of the panel’s terms of reference under Article 21.5 of the Dispute Settlement Understanding is based on erroneous findings on issues of law and legal interpretations. According to the United States, this memorandum is not a measure taken to comply with the DSB’s recommendations in this dispute and was not challenged by mainland China in the original panel proceeding.

The United States also argues that the compliance panel has erred in its interpretation and application of Articles 1.1(b) and 14(b) of the SCM Agreement with regard to the DOC’s benchmark determinations in the Section 129 proceedings involving certain oil country tubular goods, line pipe, pressure pipe and solar panels, including an alleged failure to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation for its rejection of in-country prices. Moreover, the United States is challenging the compliance panel’s finding that the final determination in the original solar panels investigation, as well as certain subsequent administrative and sunset reviews, are within the scope of this proceeding under Article 21.5 of the DSU.

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