United States - Preliminary Determinations with Respect to Certain Softwood Lumber from Canada

Report of the Panel

On 21 August 2001, Canada requested consultations with the US concerning the preliminary countervailing duty determination and the preliminary critical circumstances determination made by the US Department of Commerce on 9 August 2001, with respect to certain softwood lumber from Canada. This request also concerned US measures on company-specific expedited reviews and administrative reviews. In particular: As far as the preliminary countervailing duty determination is concerned, Canada considered this determination to be inconsistent with US obligations under Articles 1, 2, 10, 14, 17.1, 17.5, 19.4 and 32.1 of the SCM Agreement and Article VI(3) of GATT 1994. With respect to the preliminary critical circumstances determination, Canada considered this determination to be inconsistent with Articles 17.1, 17.3, 17.4, 19.4 and 20.6 of the SCM Agreement. As regards US measures on company-specific expedited reviews and administrative reviews, Canada considered these measures are inconsistent with US obligations under Article VI:3 of the GATT 1994 and Articles 10, 19.3, 19.4, 21.1, 21.2 and 32.1 of the SCM Agreement. Canada also considered that the US had failed to ensure that its laws and regulations are in conformity with its WTO obligations as required by Article 32.5 of the SCM Agreement and Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement. On the grounds that the affirmative preliminary countervailing duty and critical circumstances determinations had an immediate and significant trade impact, Canada requested urgent consultations pursuant to Article 4.8 of the DSU. Although accepting Canada’s request to enter into consultations, the US did not accept this to be a case of urgency for the purposes of Article 4.8 of the DSU since the measures in question involve the posting of bond for or deposit of preliminary duties which could be refunded in whole or in part.

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