On 1 December 2009, the European Union replaced the “European Community” as the official name of this WTO member. The terms European Communities and EC are still present in the old WTO documents, including reports from panels and appeal panels, bilateral procedural agreements in certain disputes and communications to the WTO dispute resolution body. More information can be found in the European Union or in the Communities? under www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/countries_e/european_union_or_communities_popup.htm. The use of the DSU revealed deficiencies in the procedure, particularly in the compliance phase of a dispute. These include the lack of coordination of DSU procedures for requests for retaliatory measures with compliance panel request procedures and the absence of a specific procedure for lifting trade sanctions in the event that the defending member believes he has fulfilled his WTO obligations in a case. To fill these gaps, the litigants entered into bilateral agreements that allow for retaliation and compliance procedures to move forward one after the other, and initiated new litigation procedures to obtain the abolition of retaliatory measures that are believed to have survived their legal basis. Congress, which has expressed dissatisfaction with the outcome of the WTO dispute settlement with respect to U.S. trade agreements, has instructed the executive branch to address dispute settlement in the WTO negotiations. WTO members negotiated revisions to the DSU in the Doha Development Round, which is currently stalled.
In the event that the WTO decision establishes that the defending member has breached its obligations under a WTO agreement, the member must inform the SDC of its implementation plans within 30 days of the adoption of the panel`s report and an AB report. If it is “impractical” for the member to immediately comply with the invitation, the member has a “reasonable period of time.” The Member should fully implement the WTO decision by the end of that period and, at the end of the deadline, apply the decision consistently20.20 Compliance can be achieved by withdrawing the inconsistent measure from the WTO or by amending or replacing it. As a general rule, a member should first attempt to suspend concessions or obligations in the same commercial sector as the member in dispute. If this is “impractical or effective,” the member may then attempt to suspend concessions in another sector under the same WTO agreement. However, if the suspension of concessions in other sectors under the same agreement is not “feasible or effective” and “the circumstances are sufficiently serious”, the member may attempt to suspend concessions or obligations arising from another WTO agreement or “cross-retaliate”. One of the problems that came back to DSB this year was “sequencing,” which has long been assumed to be resolved by “sequencing agreements.” The problem was indeed brought to the attention of DSB by third parties who had been excluded from 22. 6 arbitration on the amount of the suspension of concessions in the event of a “Clous – cigarettes” dispute; Procedures that are likely to include compliance findings. While opinions on the nature and seriousness of the sequencing problem were different, the debate drew attention to the systemic consequences of our continued inability to find a lasting solution to the sequencing issue within the DSU. Without the adoption of multilateral rules in this area, the parties to the dispute have entered into ad hoc procedural agreements in individual disputes in which compliance procedures and compliance procedures, including requests for reprisals, including requests for arbitration, relate successively.24 Members generally agree that when a compliance panel finds that a member has not acted, the dominant member can continue his or her request for retaliation when the DSU`s 30-day deadline has expired.