WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding United States-Continued Suspension of Obligations in the EC-Hormones Dispute
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (``USTR'') is providing notice that on January 13, 2005, the United States received from the European Communities (``EC'') a request for the establishment of a panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization (``WTO Agreement'') regarding the U.S. suspension of obligations to the EC in the WTO dispute European CommunitiesMeasures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones). The EC asserts that it has put into force new legislation that brings it into conformity with the recommendations and rulings of the Dispute Settlement Body (``DSB'') and its obligations under the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (``SPS Agreement''). The EC therefore challenges the continued U.S. suspension of obligations and imposition of import duties in excess of bound rates on imports from the EC, the alleged U.S. ``unilateral determination'' that the new EC legislation is in violation of the EC's WTO obligations, and the alleged U.S. failure to have recourse to WTO dispute settlement proceedings. In particular, the EC asserts that by failing to discontinue suspension of obligations to the EC, the United States has breached its obligations under Articles I and II of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (``GATT 1994'') and Articles 3.7, 21.5, 22.8 and 23.2(a) and (c) of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (``DSU''). USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.
Office of Administration; Notice of Meeting of the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction
The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (``Commission'') will meet in closed session on Wednesday, March 9, 2005, and Thursday, March 10, 2005, in its offices in Arlington, Virginia. Executive Order 13328 established the Commission for the purpose of assessing whether the Intelligence Community is sufficiently authorized, organized, equipped, trained, and resourced to identify and warn in a timely manner of, and to support the United States Government's efforts to respond to, the development of Weapons of Mass Destruction, related means of delivery, and other related threats of the 21st Century. This meeting will consist of briefings and discussions involving classified matters of national security, including classified briefings from representatives of agencies within the Intelligence Community; Commission discussions based upon the content of classified intelligence documents the Commission has received from agencies within the Intelligence Community; and presentations concerning the United States' intelligence capabilities that are based upon classified information. While the Commission does not concede that it is subject to the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 United States Code Appendix 2, it has been determined that the March 9-10, 2005, meeting would fall within the scope of exceptions (c)(1) and (c)(9)(B) of the Sunshine Act, 5 United States Code, Sections 552b(c)(1) & (c)(9)(B), and thus could be closed to the public if FACA did apply to the Commission.
Notice of Meeting of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Automotive Equipment and Capitol Goods (ITAC-2)
The Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Automotive Equipment and Capitol Goods (ITAC-2) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, March 16, 2005, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The meeting will be closed to the public from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and opened to the public from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
WTO Dispute Settlement Proceeding Regarding Final Countervailing Duty Determination With Respect to Certain Softwood Lumber From Canada
The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) is providing notice that on January 14, 2005, at the request of Canada, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) established a dispute settlement panel under the Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the WTO. The panel is to examine whether the United States has implemented the recommendations and rulings of the DSB in a dispute involving a U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) countervailing duty investigation of certain softwood lumber products from Canada. On February 17, 2004, the DSB adopted its findings in that dispute, which rejected most of Canada's claims but found that, consistent with the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement) and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994), Commerce should have conducted an analysis of whether subsidies ``pass through'' from certain producers to others with respect to certain log sales. In response to the DSB's recommendations and rulings, Commerce conducted a pass-through analysis and issued a new determination revising the subsidy rate for the investigation from 18.79% to 18.62%. Canada subsequently requested the establishment of a dispute settlement panel, alleging that the United States had failed to implement the DSB's recommendations and rulings. The panel was established on January 14, 2005. USTR invites written comments from the public concerning the issues raised in this dispute.