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Jessica Curtis

on 12 November 2013

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Transcript of WTO

What is it?
Doping the bovine animals growth hormone is considered :
- perfectly safe by excellent expert committees and,
- extremely dangerous by other committees.
Mohamed Aziz
Kevin Chaubo
Chris Coudray

Jessica Curtis
Ralph Fresy
Jennyfer Wan


Organizational structure and decision making
Dispute settlement body
Case 1: Beef Hormones

Case 2: Bananas
Advantages & Disadvantages


Goal: is to help producers of goods & services, exporters & importers conduct their business
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Established: January 1995

Created by: Uruguay round negotiations 86-94

Membership: 159 countries on 2013

Budget: 197 million Swiss Francs on 2013

Staff: 640 Employees

Head: Roberto Azevêdo (Director-General)
Mission & Functions
Mission Statement by Former Director-General Pascal Lamy:
"WTO is the international organization whose primary purpose is to open trade for the benefit of all"

Administering WTO trade agreements
Forum for trade negotiations
Handling trade disputes
Monitoring national trade policies
Technical assistance & training for developing countries
Cooperation with other international organizations
- Highest decision-making
- Supreme authority
- Meets every two years
- The inaugural ministerial conference was held in Singapore in 1996
-One of the highest-level
decision-making body in Geneva
-Representatives like ambassadors
-Mr. Shahid BASHIR (Pakistan)
Acts as the Dispute Settlement Body and the Trade Policy Body

Council for trade in goods

Council for trade in Services

Council for trade related aspects of intellectual Property rights

On trade and development

On Balance of Payment

On budget Finance & administration

Roberto Azevêdo
Appointed by the MC for four years
Estimates the annual budget

550 people
No legal decision making powers
The WTO is NOT undemocratic
Decision by Consensus

Why are process issues a problem?

Asymmetrical relationship between developed and developing countries.
Non-transparency and informal procedures

QuIZZ #1
Theoretically, what is the most significant organ of the WTO?
(a) The Committee on Trade and Development
(b) The Council for Trade in Goods
(c) The General Council
(d) The Ministerial Conference

Practically, what is the most significant organ of the WTO?
(a) The Committee on Trade and Development
(b) The Council for Trade in Goods
(c) The General Council
(d) The Ministerial Conference

What is it?
How can we explain these differences ?
FAO and WHO concluded that there was a « wide margin of safety » so «do not constitute a public health problem »

SCVMPH concluded instead :
« The endocrine, developmental, immunological, neurobiological, immunotoxic,genotoxic and carcinogenic effects could be envisaged ».
The most used hormone, 17ß-estradiol, according to the report :
- be considered as a complete carcinogen 
- both an initiator and a tumor promoter 

In 1988, The European Union forbid importing U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand doped beef, leading to the penalization of states.
Measure at issue :
European Communities prohibited the placement on the market and the importation of meat and meat products treated with certain hormones.

Product at issue :
Meat and meat products treated with hormones for growth purpose.
Europe ended the dispute in March 14, 2012.
By agreeing :
- To increase imports of high quality beef

In exchange for :
- Maintaining its prohibition on hormone-treated beef.

Who are the Complainants and Respondent ?
- France, Spain and China
- United States, Canada and European Communities
What is the most used hormone ?
- 17ß-estradiol
- 19ß-estriol

What are their effects ?
- Complete carcinogen  and tumor promoter 
- No bad effects
Who ended the case ?
- United States and Canada
- European Communities

Who start the war ?

European countries limited the imports of bananas.
Companies complained to the World Trade Organization.
The US responded by imposing a stiff tariff on European goods shipped to the US.

Measure at issue:
the European communities' regime for the importation, distribution and sale of bananas, Introduced on 1 July 1993 and established by EEC council reg. 404/93.
Historic signing ends 20 years of EU-Latin American banana disputes
European communities – Bananas
Product at issue: bananas imported from third countries
Third countries are those countries other than 12 African, Caribbean and Pacific ("ACP") countries who have traditionally exported bananas to the European Communities and ACP countries that were not traditional suppliers of the EC market.
World Trade Organization’s Role in the Banana War
WTO agrees with the United States position, but they are seen as incapable of enforcing their position.
Main problem is that the WTO doesn’t appear to be capable of enforcing its rules.
WTO has twice told the EU that its banana regime is illegal, however, they are unable to bring the EU into line because its rules on compliance are unclear.

The Deal
The Geneva Banana Agreement was agreed by the EU, the Latin American countries and the US in December 2009.
The Agreed Maximum Tariff Rates
What is ACP?
- A banana company
- A group of countries
- The American Catholic Press
What did the US do against the EU ?
- The US has imposed a stiff tariff on European goods shipped to the US.
- The U.S. set up an embargo on French cheese.
- The US spied on the EU.
What are the main causes to the Banana War ?
- European countries limited the imports of bananas from Africa
- European countries limited the imports of bananas from Middle East
- European countries limited the imports of bananas from South America

The African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) is a group of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975.

Settle disputes and reduce trade tensions

Encourage good governance

Contributes to peace and stability

Be effective without hitting the headlines
Stimulate economic growth and employment

Cut the cost of doing business internationally
Cuts living costs and raise living standards
Help countries develop
Give the weak a stronger voice
Support the environment and health

In 1975, 60% of the people in Asia lived in absolute poverty
Today that number is less than 20%.

Coordination issues

Trade agreements between two countries

Developed nations against developing countries

The absence of direct representatives of the people
Since January 1st 1995

159 Members

- Trade Opening
- Negotiate trade Agreements
- To settle trade disputes
How are dispute settled?
Are appointed only if the two sides cannot agree

Consist of 3 or 5 experts from different countries who examine evidences and declare who's right and who's wrong

Provides the DSB with a report that can only be rejected b consensus
Either side can appeal the panel's ruling

Each appeal is heard by 3 of the 7 members of the Appellate Body set up by the DSB and representing WTO members

The appeal can uphold, modify or reverse the panels conclusions
The case has been decided, what next?
The loosing country should offer compensation or suffer suitable penalties such as trade sanctions.

the country is given a "reasonable period of time"to comply with DSB rulings or recommendations

What is the maximum duration of a dispute settlement with appeal?
- 9m
- 1y 60 days
- 1y 3m
What is the 1st step of the dispute settlement process?
- Talks between the parties
- Appointment of the panel
- Full complaint report
What are the panels composed of?
- Ambassadors
- Governments members
- Experts
The DSB is the central pillar of the multilateral trading system
A dispute arises when one country adopts a trade policy measure or takes some action that one or more fellow-WTO members considers to be breaking the WTO agreements

Although much of the procedure does resemble a court or tribunal, the preferred solution is for the countries concerned to discuss their problems and settle the dispute by themselves
Principles: equitable, fast, effective, mutually acceptable
Full transcript