Green_Earth
消息 | 簡介 | 相關文件 | 相關網站
Trade Policy Review Body - Overview of developments in the international trading environment - Annual report by the Director-General - (Mid-October 2014 to mid-October 2015)
日期:2015/11/17
作者:WTO Director-General
文件編號:WT/TPR/OV/18
附件下載:WTTPROV18.doc
因為版本問題,開啟附件時可能會出現錯誤訊息,如「檔案已損毀」的訊息,請您忽略此訊息,即可正常開啟

 

OVERVIEW OF DEVELOPMENTS

IN THE INTERNATIONAL TRADING ENVIRONMENT

Annual Report by the DIRECTOR-GENERAL[1]

 

(Mid-October 2014 to mid-October 2015)

Table of contents

 

KEY FINDINGS. 3

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY. 6

1   INTRODUCTION.. 7

2   RECENT ECONOMIC AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS. 9

2.1   Overview.. 9

2.2   Economic Developments. 9

2.3   Merchandise Trade. 11

2.4   Trade in Commercial Services. 14

2.5   Trade Forecast and Economic Outlook. 14

3   TRADE AND TRADE-RELATED POLICY DEVELOPMENTS. 19

3.1   Overview.. 19

3.2   Trade-Remedy Trends. 22

3.3   Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) 33

3.4   Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) 39

3.5   Trade Concerns Raised in Other WTO Bodies. 44

3.6   Policy Developments in Agriculture. 48

3.7   General Economic Support 53

3.8   An Overview of Trade Policy Reviews. 54

3.9   Regional Trade Agreements. 65

3.10   Trade Facilitation. 67

3.11   ITA Expansion. 68

3.12   Aid for Trade. 68

3.13   Trade Financing. 69

3.14   Government Procurement 70

3.15   Dispute Settlement 70

4   POLICY DEVELOPMENTS IN TRADE IN SERVICES. 70

5   transparency of trade policies. 84

5.1   Notifications and Surveillance in WTO Councils and Committees. 84

5.2   Agriculture. 84

5.3   Quantitative Restrictions (QRs) 88

5.4   Import Licensing. 89

5.5   Rules of Origin. 90

5.6   Customs Valuation. 91

5.7   Preshipment Inspection. 92

5.8   Integrated Database. 92

5.9   Anti-Dumping. 94

5.10   Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. 95

5.11   State-Trading Enterprises. 95

5.12   Balance-of-Payments Restrictions. 96

5.13   Regional Trade Agreements. 96

5.14   Preferential Trade Arrangements. 97

5.15   Government Procurement 98

5.16   TRIPS. 98

5.17   Services. 99

ANNEX 1. 101

Measures facilitating trade. 101

ANNEX 2. 122

Trade remedies. 122

ANNEX 3. 152

Other trade-related measures. 152

ANNEX 4. 173

GENERAL ECONOMIC SUPPORT MEASURES. 173

APPENDIX. 189

 


KEY FINDINGS

·                In the reporting period between mid-October 2014 and mid-October 2015, WTO Members applied 178 new trade-restrictive measures. This equates to a monthly average of just under 15 new measures per month which is stable and comparable to the previous reporting period.  

 

·                The overall stockpile of restrictive measures introduced by WTO Members nevertheless continues to grow. Of the 2,557 trade-restrictive measures, including trade remedies, introduced by WTO Members since 2008 and recorded by this exercise, only 642 had been removed by mid-October 2015.

 

·                The total number of those restrictive measures still in place now stands at 1,915 – up by 17% compared to the last annual report. 75% of trade-restrictive measures implemented since 2008 remain in place.

 

·                Although WTO Members are eliminating some of their trade-restrictive measures, the rate at which this is done remains insufficient to seriously dent the stockpile.

 

·                More encouragingly the report finds that a total of 222 measures aimed at facilitating trade were taken, – a monthly average of almost 19 measures – the second highest number since the beginning of the monitoring exercise.

 

·                The number of trade remedy investigations by WTO Members has fallen during this reporting period.  This decline is primarily because of a drop in the number of anti-dumping initiations and confirms a trend identified in the last monitoring report.

 

·                During this review period, global economic growth remained modest, and continued to be unevenly distributed across countries and regions. The downturn in world trade observed at the time of the last monitoring report continued in the second quarter of the year.   

 

·                The WTO Secretariat recently (30 September 2015) lowered its forecast for world merchandise trade volume growth in 2015 from 3.3% to 2.8% and reduced its estimate for 2016 from 4.0% to 3.9%.

 

·                Looking towards the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December, WTO Members should reflect on the central role of the multilateral trading system as a predictable and transparent framework helping Members resist protectionist pressures and as a stable and inclusive platform for pursuing further multilateral trade liberalization.

 

Trade-restrictive measures, excluding trade remedies (average per month)

Note:       Values are rounded.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

 

Trade-restrictive measures, mid-October 2014 to mid-October 2015

 

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Trade-facilitating measures, excluding trade remedies (average per month)

Note:       Values are rounded.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Trade-facilitating measures, mid-October 2014 to mid-October 2015

 

 

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Stockpile of trade-restrictive measures

Note:       Totals include measures listed in Annex 3 and initiations of trade remedy actions.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This trade-monitoring report reviews trade-related developments during the period from 16 October 2014 to 15 October 2015.

The report confirms that WTO Members continue to show some restraint in taking new trade‑restrictive measures with the introduction of such measures remaining relatively stable since 2012. During the period under review, 178 new trade-restrictive measures were put in place – an average of just under 15 new measures per month.

More encouragingly, WTO Members continued to adopt measures aimed at facilitating trade, both temporary and permanent in nature. Members implemented 222 new trade-facilitating measures during the period under review – an average of almost 19 measures per month, the second highest number since the beginning of the monitoring exercise.

Nevertheless, the slow pace of removal of previous restrictions means that the overall stock of restrictive measures is continuing to increase. Of the 2,557 restrictions (including trade remedies) recorded by the monitoring exercise since October 2008, only 642 have been removed. In other words, the total number of those restrictive measures still in place currently stands at 1,915 – up by almost 17% compared to the last annual overview. The addition of new restrictive measures, combined with a slow removal rate, remains a persistent concern with 75% of all restrictions measures implemented since 2008 still in place. The longer‑term trend in the number of trade‑restrictive measures is an area where continued vigilance remains imperative.

The downturn in world trade observed in the last monitoring report continued in the second quarter of 2015. Global economic growth was modest during the review period and continues to be unevenly distributed across countries and regions. Prices for primary commodities including oil are down sharply from last year, squeezing a number of important exporters. Exchange rates have undergone important shifts since the last report and speculation surrounding monetary policy alongside recurring bouts of volatility in financial markets has stoked uncertainty. In light of these developments, the Secretariat recently (30 September 2015) lowered its forecast for world merchandise trade volume growth in 2015 to 2.8%, and reduced its estimate for 2016 to 3.9%.

In the area of trade remedies, the decelerating trend observed in the previous report continued. This owes particularly to the decline in the number of initiations of anti-dumping investigations. Concerning anti-dumping and countervailing measures applied on the basis of investigations initiated in 2008 and 2009 (coinciding with the onset of the financial crisis), the data on extensions of measures pursuant to sunset reviews versus expired measures show no discernible change from the pattern observed in prior periods.    

 

During the review period, the WTO's TBT and SPS Committees saw significant developments. The SPS Committee has witnessed a persistent growth in notifications from developing countries leading to the highest number of notifications to date. An increase in the number of notifications does not, however, automatically imply greater use of measures taken for protectionist purposes. Another noteworthy development was the significant increase in the number of specific trade concerns (STCs) raised in the TBT Committee.

This report shows that WTO Members introduced 128 new general economic support measures – an average of almost 11 new measures per month, and a significant increase from the previous report. The main beneficiaries were selected industries in the agricultural sector, oil and gas industries, the automotive sector and assistance schemes for exports and for SMEs.

In the area of services the period under review witnessed several important policy developments in such diverse sectors as financial services, telecommunications and ICT, audio-visual services, construction services, energy and transport services, services supplied through the movement of natural persons and a number of other sectors. The large majority of the policies adopted during the period under review reflect trade-liberalizing measures.

Several other important trade-related developments also took place during 2015. These include the adoption of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, the expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, the Global Review of Aid for Trade and new initiatives in the area of Regional Trade Agreements.

The overall assessment of this monitoring report is that the uncertain global economic outlook continues to weigh on international trade flows. It shows that the continuing increase in the stock of trade-restrictive measures recorded since 2008 remains of concern. Looking towards the 10th Ministerial Conference in Nairobi in December, WTO Members should reflect on the central role of the multilateral trading system as a predictable and transparent framework helping Members resist protectionist pressures and as a stable and inclusive platform for pursuing further multilateral trade liberalization.

1  INTRODUCTION

1.1.  This report is submitted to the Trade Policy Review Body (TPRB) pursuant to Paragraph G of the trade policy review mandate in Annex 3 to the WTO Agreement, which provides for an annual report by the Director-General to assist the TPRB in undertaking its annual overview of developments in the international trading environment that are having an impact on the multilateral trading system. It builds on the Director-General's report to the TPRB on trade-related developments circulated to Members on 3 July 2015.[2] Unless otherwise indicated, the report covers the period 16 October 2014 to 15 October 2015. As in the past, measures implemented outside the reviewed period are not included in the Annexes.

1.2.   This report is intended to be purely factual and is issued under the sole responsibility of the Director-General. It has no legal effect on the rights and obligations of Members, nor does it have any legal implication with respect to the conformity of any measure noted in the report with any WTO Agreement or any provision thereof. This report is without prejudice to Members' negotiating positions in the Doha Round.

1.3.  At the WTO Ministerial Conference in December 2011, Ministers recognized the regular work undertaken by the TPRB on the monitoring exercise of trade and trade-related measures, took note of the work initially done in the context of the global financial and economic crisis, and directed it to be continued and strengthened. Ministers invited the Director-General to continue presenting his trade‑monitoring reports on a regular basis, and asked the TPRB to consider these monitoring reports in addition to its meeting to undertake the Annual Overview of Developments in the International Trading Environment. Ministers committed to duly comply with the existing transparency obligations and reporting requirements needed for the preparation of these monitoring reports, and to continue to support and cooperate with the WTO Secretariat in a constructive fashion.[3]

1.4.  Section 2 of the overview provides a review of recent economic and trade trends. Section 3 presents an account of selected trade and trade-related developments during the period under review. Section 4 reviews policy developments in trade in services. Finally, Section 5 provides an overview of compliance and timeliness of Members' notifications to the WTO. Annexes to the report list specific new trade policy measures of individual Members taken during the period under review in four categories: trade-facilitating measures (Annex 1); trade‑remedy actions (Annex 2); other trade and trade-related measures (Annex 3); and general economic support measures (Annex 4). Specific developments related to Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) are covered separately in Section 3. Specific measures of individual Members and Observers in the area of trade in services are described in Section 4. 

1.5.  Information on the measures included in the Annexes to this report and, with respect to services in Section 4, has been collected from inputs submitted by WTO Members and Observers, as well as from other official and public sources.  Replies to the request of the Director-General for information on measures taken during the period under review were received from 76 Members (counting the European Union (EU) and its member States separately) (Box 1), which represents 47% of the membership. This is an increase of 10% compared to the participation in the 2014 annual report.[4]  One Observer also replied to the request for information. The WTO Secretariat has drawn on these replies, as well as on a variety of other sources, to prepare this report. All country‑specific information collected was sent for verification to the relevant delegation. As in the past, participation in the verification process was uneven, and in several instances the Secretariat received only partial responses and often after the indicated deadline. Where it has not been possible to confirm the information, this is noted in the Annexes.[5]

Box 1 Replies to the Director-General's request for information[6]

Albania

Argentina

Australia

Azerbaijan*

Barbados

Brazil

Cabo Verde

Canada

Chile

China, Republic of

Colombia

Costa Rica

Cuba

Dominican Republic

Egypt

European Union

The Gambia

Georgia

Guatemala

Hong Kong, China

India

Indonesia

Japan

Korea, Republic of

Macao, China

Malaysia

Mauritius

Mexico

Moldova, Republic of

Montenegro

New Zealand

Norway

Paraguay

Peru

Philippines

Russian Federation

Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of

Serbia

Seychelles

Singapore

South Africa

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Switzerland

Chinese Taipei

Thailand

Tunisia

Turkey

Ukraine

United States of America

Uruguay

* Observer

 

WTO Members and Observers Participating in the WTO Monitoring Exercise

 

2  RECENT ECONOMIC AND TRADE DEVELOPMENTS

2.1  Overview

2.1.  The WTO downgraded, on 30 September, its forecast for world trade after declines in the first two quarters of 2015 reduced the potential expansion for the year and clouded the outlook for 2016. The Secretariat now expects merchandise trade to grow 2.8% in volume terms in 2015 (down from 3.3% in April) and 3.9% in 2016 (down from 4.0% previously).

2.2.  These downward revisions reflect a number of factors that have weighed on world trade and output recently, including the rebalancing of the Chinese economy away from investment and towards consumption, declines in primary commodity prices that have hit export revenues and imports of resource-based economies, as well as strong exchange rate fluctuations and volatility in financial markets. Uncertainty over the timing and pace of expected interest rate rises in the United States has also raised the prospect of capital flow reversals in developing countries and clouded the outlook for the global economy going forward.

2.2  Economic Developments

2.3.  If the September forecast holds, 2015 will be the fourth consecutive year with merchandise trade growth of less than 3%, and the fourth year where world trade has grown at approximately the same rate as world GDP, rather than twice as fast, as in the 1990s and early 2000s. The current forecast indicates faster trade growth of 3.9% in 2016, but this rate of increase is still well below the average of 5% since 1990.

2.4.  The distribution of economic activity across countries and regions continues to be uneven, and economic data remain mixed. After a slow start with 0.6% annualized GDP growth in the first quarter, the United States saw output growth rebound to 3.9% in the second quarter before dropping to 1.8% in the third quarter. Recent U.S. employment reports also indicate weaker labour market conditions in Q3, which could presage slower growth in the second half of the year. U.S. output in the first three quarters of 2015 was up 2.5% over 2014, roughly in line with the IMF forecast for the year overall.  The EU has also shown signs of resilience recently, particularly in formerly distressed economies such as Spain and Ireland.  Annualized GDP growth of EU member States averaged 2.2% in Q1 and 1.8% in Q2, but unemployment remains high. EU output was up 1.8% year-on-year in the first half of 2015, also in line with IMF predictions. Meanwhile, Japan's growth has been highly variable, rising from 1.3% in the fourth quarter of last year to 4.5% in Q1, then falling back to -1.2% in Q2.  Japan's year-over-year output growth in the first half of 2015 was flat at 0.0%, below IMF projections.

2.5.  Quarter-on-quarter GDP growth in China picked up from 1.4% in Q1 (equivalent to an annual rate of 5.7%) to 1.7% in Q2 (equal to 7.0% annually) and 1.8% in Q3 (equal to 7.3% annually). Growth rates of this magnitude are consistent with government targets of near 7% growth for the year, but other forward looking measures of economic activity, including the composite leading indicators (CLIs) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), point to below trend growth in coming quarters.  Meanwhile, India recorded strong growth of 8.2% in Q1 and 6.5% in Q2 according to data from the OECD.  Natural resource exporters had the weakest performances among major economies in Q2, including Brazil (-7.2%), the Russian Federation (‑7.8%) and Canada (-0.5%). 

2.6.  Large exchange rate fluctuations since the middle of 2014 reflect changes in economic prospects and policy expectations in major economies, and have exerted a strong influence on nominal dollar denominated trade statistics. These exchange rate movements are illustrated in Chart 2.1, which shows nominal effective exchange rate indices for selected economies through August 2015 from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). 

Chart 2.1 Exchange rate indices for selected economies,

January 2012 – September 2015a

(Index, January 2012 = 100)

 

 

a                         Nominal effective exchange rate indices against a broad basket of currencies.

Source:   Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

2.7.  The strongest appreciations over the past year were recorded by the U.S. dollar and the Chinese yuan.  The dollar was up 15% year-on-year in September against the currencies of its trading partners, while the yuan was up 9%. The loosening of the yuan's link to the dollar in September initially produced a month-on-month bilateral depreciation of around 3% against the U.S. currency, but against a broader basket of currencies the yuan was only down 0.2% for the month.  On the other hand, values of commodity-based currencies have plunged, including the Russian rouble (down 36% year-on-year in August) and the Brazilian real (down 34% over the same period).

2.8.  Dollar appreciation can cause trade denominated in other currencies (e.g. intra-EU trade) to be undervalued when measured in dollars, thereby distorting growth rates and other calculations.  As a result, trade statistics in nominal dollar terms must be interpreted with caution under current circumstances.

2.9.  Primary commodity prices, including oil prices, have not recovered since the last monitoring report and have in fact continued to decline.  Recent trends are illustrated in Chart 2.2, which shows International Monetary Fund (IMF) commodity price indices through September. Lower prices for fuels (down 50% year-on-year in the latest month) are partly explained by new sources of supply.  Investment in oil production from unconventional sources has fallen in North America as prices have declined, but output from existing capacity remains strong. Another contributor to falling prices is the appreciation of the dollar, which now commands more goods and services than it did a year ago. There has traditionally been an inverse relationship between dollar denominated commodity prices and the exchange value of the U.S. currency, with appreciations causing commodity prices in dollars to fall.

Chart 2.2 Prices of primary commodities, January 2012 - September 2015

(Indices, January 2012 = 100)

 

Source:   IMF Primary Commodity Prices.

2.10.  The IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) on 6 October with projections for world GDP and trade in 2015 and 2016. GDP estimates received modest downward revisions but the organization's trade numbers were reduced sharply, bringing them more in line with WTO forecasts. The IMF expects world GDP at purchasing power parity to grow 3.1% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016. Risks are tilted to the downside and include financial shocks stemming from exchange rate movements and commodity price declines.

2.3  Merchandise Trade

2.11.  Chart 2.3 shows year-on-year growth in the dollar value of merchandise trade (red line), as well as relative contributions to this growth from developed and developing economies (stacked bars). The dollar value of world trade was down sharply in the first and second quarters of 2015, around 13% in both periods compared to 2014. These drops were entirely attributable to changes in export and import prices since quarterly trade volume indices jointly prepared by the WTO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) show positive year-on-year growth over the same period (+3.1% in Q1 and +1.4% in Q2 on the export side). Very little useful information can be discerned from the contributions of developed and developing countries to trade growth in dollar terms in the current circumstance of strong dollar appreciation. However, the fact that these contributions are of similar magnitude suggests that both groups of countries are equally affected by the appreciation of the dollar.

2.12.  Trade statistics in volume terms frequently provide a more accurate picture of trade developments since they are adjusted to account for fluctuations in prices and exchange rates. These data are illustrated by Chart 2.4, which shows seasonally-adjusted quarterly merchandise trade volume indices for Brazil, developing Asia (including China and India), the EU, Japan and the United States from 2010Q1 to 2015Q2. These data present a rather negative trend of trade in the first half of 2015, especially with regards to exports of developing Asia and imports of South America.

Chart 2.3 Contributions to year-on-year growth in world merchandise trade,

2012Q1-2015Q2

(Percentage change in US$ values)

a                         Includes significant re-exports. Also includes the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Note:       Due to scarce data availability, Africa and the Middle East are under-represented in world totals.

Source:   WTO Secretariat estimates, based on data compiled from IMF International Financial Statistics; Eurostat Comext Database; Global Trade Atlas; and national statistics.


Chart 2.4 Volume of exports and imports of selected economies, 2010Q1 – 2015Q2

(Seasonally adjusted volume indices, 2010Q1 = 100)

 

Note:       Data for the EU, Japan and the United States were obtained from national statistical sources, while figures for Brazil and developing Asia are seasonally‑adjusted Secretariat estimates.

Source:   WTO and UNCTAD Secretariats.

2.13.  Exports of the United States were flat in Q2 (up 1.0%, not annualized) after registering a large drop in Q1 (-3.9%). U.S. exports in Q2 also hardly changed compared to the same quarter in the previous year (up just 0.3%). The reverse was the case on the import side, with a modest quarter-on-quarter decline in Q2 (-1.0%) and a stronger increase in Q1 (+2.3%). Year-on-year import growth was very strong at 6.3% in Q2, which would have helped cushion the recent declines in imports of developing countries.

2.14.  Extra-EU exports were up 0.8% quarter-on-quarter in Q2 while extra-EU imports were down 3.1% quarter-on-quarter. Meanwhile, trade between EU member States (i.e. intra-EU trade) was up slightly, 0.9% as measured by exports. Year-on-year growth in intra-EU trade was strong at 3.7% as measured by exports.

2.15.  Brazil's exports surged in the first half of 2015, rising 11.5% since the final quarter of 2014. In contrast, the country's imports were down 9.6% over the same period, and down 17% since 2014Q1. Exports and imports of developing Asia were also unusually weak in the first half of the year, with declines of 3.4% on the export side and 1.9% on the import side in Q2 since the last quarter of 2014.

2.16.  Monthly merchandise trade statistics in current U.S. dollar terms are more timely than quarterly statistics in volume terms and are available for a larger set of countries (Chart 2.5). However, these data are also subject to price distortions and should therefore be interpreted with caution. Export and import values are down in most countries in the first half of 2015, but this may simply be due to the fact that they are measured in U.S. dollars. For example, Germany's exports and imports were both down 14% year-on-year in July when measured in dollar terms, but they were up 6% when measured in euros.

2.4  Trade in Commercial Services

2.17.  Chart 2.6 shows year-on-year growth in the dollar value of commercial services trade for selected economies from 2014Q2 to 2015Q2. These data are also affected by the recent appreciation of the U.S. dollar in much the same way that merchandise trade values are. As a result, they must also be interpreted with caution. Countries whose currencies experienced significant depreciations against the U.S. dollar by 2015Q1 (e.g. Brazil, the EU, India, Japan, and the Russian Federation) all recorded sharp slowdowns in services trade in 2015Q1 and 2015Q2, on both the export and import sides, while other countries (China and the United States) did not register similar declines. In most cases, declines in services trade in percentage terms were smaller than the percentage declines in currency values, which suggests that the volume of commercial services trade has continued to rise.  However, it remains difficult to draw useful conclusions from nominal trade statistics in the presence of strong exchange rate movements.

2.5  Trade Forecast and Economic Outlook

2.18.  Table 2.1 shows the latest WTO trade forecasts for 2015 and 2016, updated on 30 September 2015. These estimates depend upon consensus estimates of real GDP growth at market exchange rates, which are largely compatible with the IMF outlook. As noted previously, the WTO expects world merchandise trade volume as measured by the average of exports and imports to grow 2.8% in 2015 and to expand by 3.9% in 2016. Exports from developed economies should increase by 3.0% this year and by 3.9% next year, while exports of developing economies are projected to grow more slowly at 2.4% in 2015 and 3.8% in 2016. Developed economies' imports should grow by 3.1% in 2015 and 3.2% 2016, while those of developing economies should expand 2.5% this year and 5.2% next year.

 

 


Chart 2.5 Merchandise exports and imports of selected economies,

January 2010-August 2015

(US$ billion)

 


Source:   IMF International Financial Statistics, Global Trade Information Services GTA database, national statistics.

 


Chart 2.6 Commercial services exports and imports of selected economies, 2014Q2‑2015Q2

(Year-on-year % change in current US$ values)

 

Note:       Figures for China are preliminary.

Source:   WTO and UNCTAD Secretariats.


2.19.  Exports of developing Asia received a strong downward revision for 2015, to 3.1% from 5.0% previously. This is mostly due to falling intra-regional trade as China's demand for imported goods has eased. The downward revision to Asia on the import side was even stronger, to 2.6% from 5.1% previously. The product composition of China's merchandise imports suggests that some of the slowdown may be related to the country's ongoing transition from investment to consumption led growth. Large year-on-year declines in quantities of imported machinery (-9%) and metals (iron ore -10%, copper -6%) were recorded in customs statistics for August, while strong increases were seen in agricultural goods, including cereal grains (+130%) and oilseeds (+33%).

2.20.  Another noteworthy revision was applied to imports of South and Central America in 2015, as the regional estimate was lowered to -5.6% from -0.5% previously.  Much of this was due to a sharp decline in Brazil's import demand, which in turn affected exports of neighbouring countries.  A rebound in imports of South and Central America is expected in 2016 as Brazil's GDP growth stabilizes and its imports begin to recover from a low base.

Table 2.1 Merchandise trade volume and real GDP, 2011-2016

(Annual percentage change)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015a

2016a

Volume of world merchandise trade

5.3

2.2

2.5

2.5

2.8

3.9

Exports

Developed economies

5.1

1.1

2.2

2.0

3.0

3.9

Developing economies

5.9

3.7

3.8

3.1

2.4

3.8

North America

6.6

4.4

2.7

4.2

4.4

3.9

South and Central America

6.4

0.9

1.9

-1.3

0.5

3.1

Europe

5.5

0.8

2.4

1.6

2.8

3.7

Asia

6.4

2.7

5.0

4.7

3.1

5.4

Other regionsb

2.3

3.9

0.7

-0.4

0.5

0.5

Imports

Developed economies

3.4

0.0

-0.1

2.9

3.1

3.2

Developing economies

7.7

4.9

5.2

1.8

2.5

5.2

North America

4.3

3.2

1.2

4.6

6.4

5.2

South and Central America

12.1

2.3

3.4

-2.4

-5.6

5.7

Europe

3.2

-1.8

-0.2

2.3

3.2

3.4

Asia

6.5

3.7

4.8

3.4

2.6

4.3

Other regionsb

7.8

9.9

4.1

-1.4

-1.5

0.5

Real GDP at market exchange rates (2005)

2.8

2.3

2.3

2.5

2.5

2.8

Developed economies

1.5

1.1

1.3

1.6

1.9

2.1

Developing economies

5.9

4.6

4.5

4.2

3.5

4.2

North America

1.9

2.4

2.1

2.4

2.5

2.7

South and Central America

5.1

2.8

3.3

1.0

-1.1

0.4

Europe

2.0

-0.2

0.4

1.3

1.8

1.9

Asia

4.2

4.4

4.5

4.0

4.0

4.2

Other regionsb

4.1

3.7

2.6

2.6

1.4

2.9

a             Figures for 2015 and 2016 are projections.

b             Other regions comprise Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Middle East.

Source:   WTO Secretariat for trade, consensus estimates for GDP.

3  TRADE AND TRADE-RELATED POLICY DEVELOPMENTS

3.1  Overview

3.1.  The following sections provide a more in-depth analysis of selected trade and trade-related policy developments, including some areas which saw especially noteworthy events during the period under review.

3.2.  The trade measures compiled for this report are presented in three categories: (i) measures that clearly facilitate trade (Annex 1); (ii) trade‑remedy measures (Annex 2); and (iii) other trade and trade-related measures (Annex 3). The total number of measures in these three categories recorded over the period mid-October 2014 to mid‑October 2015 is 697. This comprises 222 trade‑facilitating measures, 297 trade‑remedy measures and 178 other trade and trade‑related measures.

3.3.  The 222 trade‑facilitating measures (Table 3.1) recorded during the twelve-month period covered by this report represent an absolute increase over the previous period[7], but more importantly is the highest monthly average of such measures recorded over the last four monitoring reports. Over 72% of these trade‑facilitating measures consist of measures that provide for tariff reductions, sometimes applied on a temporary basis. The trade‑facilitating measures recorded by this monitoring report cover 0.91% of world merchandise imports (US$170.3 billion) compared to 6.4% (US$1,183.4 billion) reported in the last annual overview.[8]

Table 3.1 Measures facilitating trade (Annex 1)

Type of measure

Mid-October 2011 to

mid-October 2012

Mid-October 2012 to

mid-November 2013

Mid-November 2013 to mid‑October 2014

Mid-October 2014 to mid‑October 2015

Import

136

101

168

192

- Tariff

120

82

145

160

- Customs procedures

13

15

18

24

- Tax

2

3

1

4

- Quantitative restrictions

1

1

4

4

Export

18

6

9

26

- Duties

7

3

4

13

- Quantitative restrictions

11

3

3

1

- Other

0

0

2

12

Other

8

0

0

4

Total

162

107

177

222

Average per month

13.5

8.2

16.1

18.5

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.4.  The principal product sectors (HS chapters) benefiting from the trade-facilitating measures were: mineral fuels and oils; precious metals (gold); machinery and mechanical appliances; electrical machinery and equipment; and vehicles and parts thereof (mainly of motorcycles).[9]

3.5.  Trade‑remedy measures taken between mid-October 2014 and mid-October 2015 are listed in Annex 2.[10] As a share of all trade and trade-related measures recorded for the review period, trade remedies make up almost 43%, down from 49% in the previous annual report. Out of the 297 trade remedy measures recorded (Table 3.2), 241, or around 81%, were anti-dumping actions. In line with the trend identified in recent monitoring reports, more initiations were recorded than terminations. However, the monthly average of trade remedy actions recorded for this exercise was down compared to previous reports.

Table 3.2 Trade remedy measures (Annex 2)[11]

Type of measure

Mid-October 2012

to mid-November 2013

Mid-November 2013 to mid-October 2014

Mid-October 2014 to mid-October 2015

Initiations

Terminations

Total

Initiations

Terminations

Total

Initiations

Terminations

Total

Trade-remedy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anti-dumping

156

112

268

134

133

267

130

111

241

Countervailing

24

9

33

21

15

36

21

14

35

Safeguard

37

17

54

16

18

34

14

7

21

Total

217

138

355

171

166

337

165

132

297

Average per month

16.7

10.6

27.3

15.5

15.1

30.6

13.8

11.0

24.8

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.6.  Out of the total number of trade-remedy measures, 165 were initiations of new trade‑remedy investigations covering 0.17% of world merchandise imports (US$32.2 billion), and 132 measures were terminations of either investigations or existing duties covering less than 0.1% of world imports (US$12 billion).[12]

3.7.  The number of other trade and trade-related measures recorded during the review period (Annex 3) was 178, compared to 168 recorded for the year-end monitoring report in 2014. However, the monthly average of the introduction of such measures has declined slightly in the current period, and remains below the monthly average of trade-facilitating measures (Table 3.1). Out of the 178 measures listed in Annex 3, some 136 measures were applied to imports. As has been the case in the past, the most prevalent import measure remains tariffs, accounting for almost 65% of import measures in Annex 3 (Table 3.3).

Table 3.3 Other trade and trade-related measures (Annex 3)

Type of measure

Mid-October 2011 to mid‑October 2012

Mid-October 2012 to mid‑November 

2013

Mid-November 2013 to mid‑October 2014

Mid-October 2014 to mid‑October 2015

Import

118

153

119

136

- Tariff

54

106

74

88

- Customs procedures

38

25

26

20

- Tax

6

6

7

11

- Quantitative restrictions

20

15

11

11

- Other

0

1

1

6

Export

32

27

36

31

- Duties

8

4

12

13

- Quantitative restrictions

24

11

12

5

- Other

0

12

12

13

Other

14

10

13

11

Total

164

190

168

178

Average per month

13.7

14.6

15.3

14.8

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.8.  Other trade and trade-related measures recorded over the review period cover a wide range of products. The main product sectors (HS chapters) targeted were: mineral fuels and oils; iron and steel; vegetable fats and oils; electrical machinery and equipment; machinery and mechanical appliances; and vehicles and parts thereof, accounting for 1.23% of world merchandise imports (US$228.3 billion).[13]

3.9.  In the previous annual overview, the product sectors most heavily affected were: iron and steel; organic chemicals; electrical machinery and mechanical appliances; certain vehicles and parts thereof; and articles of apparel and clothing accessories (accounting for 1.17% of world merchandise imports (US$214.5 billion)).

3.10.  Continuing a positive trend identified in the 2014 annual overview, the number of trade‑facilitating measures remains higher than the number of other trade and trade‑related measures. In other words, as can be seen from a comparison of Table 3.1 and Table 3.3, according to the number of measures recorded by the monitoring exercise since the end of 2013, WTO Members have introduced more trade‑facilitating measures than other trade and trade‑related measures, although the value of merchandise imports covered by trade-facilitating measures is lower.

3.11.  The total number of what can be considered as trade‑restrictive measures (including trade remedy measures) introduced by WTO Members since October 2008, and recorded by the periodic monitoring reports is 2,557.[14] According to information recorded for this exercise, as of mid-October 2015, 642, or around a quarter, of these measures had been removed leaving the stockpile of measures still in place at 1,915 – an increase of almost 17% since October 2014.[15] Chart 3.1 compares the stockpile of restrictive measures at mid-October 2010 with that of mid-October 2015.

Chart 3.1 Stockpile of trade-restrictive measures

 

 

Note:       Totals include measures listed in Annex 3 and initiations of trade remedy actions.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.12.  Overall, and despite the introduction of more trade-facilitating than trade-restrictive measures, existing trade restrictions are not being eliminated at a rate which significantly dents the stockpile of trade-restrictive measures. This remains an area of concern for global trade – systemically as well as for the day‑to-day trade flows.

3.2  Trade-Remedy Trends

3.13.  This analysis provides an assessment of trends in trade-remedy actions during the period from July 2012 – June 2013 ("first period") in comparison with July 2013 – June 2014 ("second period") and July 2014 – June 2015 ("current period").[16] Concerning anti-dumping, data for the current period indicate a slight decrease in the number of new investigations initiated.[17] The number of safeguard investigations initiated also decreased. The number of countervail investigations initiated, however, remained steady between the second and current periods. The total number of initiations for the latter two types of trade-remedy investigations remained considerably lower than for anti‑dumping.

3.14.  Global anti-dumping initiations decreased by 12%, from 266 during the second period to 234 during the current period. (Table 3.4). However, initiations in the current period (233) were still more numerous than those reported in the first period (220). 

Table 3.4 Initiations of anti-dumping investigations

(Counted on the basis of exporting countries affected)

Reporting Member

July 2012 - June 2013

July 2013 - June 2014

July 2014 - June 2015

Argentina

14

11

6

Australia

11

26

14

Brazil

38

66

18

Canada

11

10

12

Chile

5

0

0

China

13

7

6

Colombia

10

6

7

Dominican Republic

0

2

0

Egypt

0

2

10

European Union

9

4

14

Guatemala

0

1

0

India

31

25

37

Indonesia

0

14

16

Israel

3

0

0

Japan

0

1

2

Korea, Republic of

4

9

2

Malaysia

13

7

13

Mexico

6

5

17

Morocco

5

1

2

New Zealand

1

0

0

Pakistan

4

6

3

Peru

0

1

0

Philippines

1

0

0

Russian Federation

0

4

5

South Africa

6

6

1

Chinese Taipei

2

1

0

Thailand

5

0

1

Trinidad and Tobago

0

0

1

Turkey

12

4

22

Ukraine

1

2

3

United States

11

45

21

Viet Nam

4

0

0

Total

220

266

233

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.15.  Chart 3.2 shows that the number of anti-dumping investigations initiated increased from 2011 until it peaked in 2013 with 287 measures. The number of investigations has declined since then, a decline which has continued into the first half of 2015. However, early indications show a notable increase in the number of investigations launched in the second half of 2015, suggesting that this decline may be reversed.

Chart 3.2 Total anti-dumping investigation initiations by reporting Member (2008-15a)

a             Data for 2015 relate to the January to June period.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.16.  While anti-dumping investigations do not necessarily lead to the imposition of measures, a rise in the number of investigations initiated is an early indicator suggesting a likely rise in the number of measures imposed.

3.17.  Regarding the Members taking actions, Table 3.4 shows that Brazil initiated the most investigations (122) over the three periods and accounted for approximately 20% of investigations. However, Brazil's actions peaked in the second period at 66 investigations, before falling to 18 in the current period. India was the second most active Member in relation to anti‑dumping, initiating 93 investigations, approximately 15% of the total. After a decline in the number of investigations that it initiated in the second period, from 31 to 25 investigations, India increased its activity in the current period, initiating 37 cases. The United States was the third largest user of anti-dumping accounting for 77 investigations, or approximately 10% of initiations. The United States significantly increased its anti-dumping activity in the second period before halving the number of investigations it initiated in the current period. Australia was the fourth largest user of anti-dumping over the three 12-month periods but initiated only 51 investigations, less than half the number initiated by Brazil, the largest user of this trade remedy. Significant increases in the use of anti-dumping in the current period were seen from Egypt (with 10 initiations), the EU (with 14 initiations), Mexico (with 17 initiations), and Turkey (with 22 initiations).

3.18.  Chart 3.3 shows that there was little change in terms of the breakdown of products affected by anti-dumping investigations initiated during the three periods examined, with the majority of initiations focused on products in the metals, plastics and rubber, and chemicals sectors.

3.19.  Metal products were subject to the most initiations in each period, accounting for 28% of all initiations in the first period, 34% in the second period and 37% in the current period. In each period, at least 60 initiations targeted metals, of which 75% on average focused on steel products. Over the three periods combined, the United States (51), Australia (34) and Brazil (30) accounted for more than half of the 238 initiations on metals. These initiations targeted mostly metal products from China (66, of which 47 involved steel products), the Republic of Korea (25, of which 18 involved steel) and Chinese Taipei (20, of which 18 involved steel). In many instances, investigations were launched on the same product from several exporting countries. For instance, there were 19 investigations into cold rolled stainless steel, 18 investigations into oil country tubular goods and 12 into grain oriented electrical steel.   

3.20.  Chemical products accounted for the second largest share of initiations over the three reporting periods, with a 17% share of initiations in the first period, an 18% share in the second period and a 24% share in the current period. India accounted for 55 of the 142 new investigations on products in this sector over the three reporting periods, with 25 conducted by Brazil and 11 conducted by China. These initiations targeted mostly chemical products from China (37), the United States (17), the Republic of Korea (10) and the EU (9). Similarly to metals sector investigations, investigations into chemicals frequently targeted the same product from different countries – 35 products accounted for 117 of the investigations in this area.

3.21.  Plastics and rubber ranked third over the three periods examined, accounting for 20% of all initiations in the first period, 16% in the second period, and 15% in the current period. Half of the 121 plastics and rubber investigations were initiated by Brazil (60), and the next largest user in this sector was India with 10 investigations. China was once again the main target of investigations in this sector (23), followed by India (11), the Republic of Korea (9) and Chinese Taipei (8).

3.22.  Machinery, which accounted for 7% of all initiations on average over the three periods, ranked fourth and textiles ranked fifth, accounting for 6%. 

3.23.  In terms of countries affected by new anti-dumping investigations, 44 exporting Members were affected during the first period, while 50 were affected during the second period and 42 in the current period. China remained, by far, the Member most affected by anti-dumping initiations during the three reporting periods – investigations into Chinese products accounted for 28% of all investigations during these periods. The second most affected Member during the three reporting periods – the Republic of Korea – accounted for 8% of the total initiations during these periods, followed by Chinese Taipei, at 6%.

3.24.  Table 3.5 shows that global initiations of countervailing duty investigations has remained constant in the second and current periods, with 39 new investigations reported, compared to 38 in the second period and 26 in the first period. The main users of countervailing measures over the three periods were Canada and the United States.

Table 3.5 Initiations of countervailing duty investigations

(Counted on the basis of exporting countries affected)

Reporting Member

July 2012 - June 2013

July 2013 - June 2014

July 2014 - June 2015

Australia

3

2

0

Brazil

3

0

1

Canada

5

3

11

China

2

1

0

Egypt

0

1

5

European Union

5

5

1

India

0

1

0

Mexico

0

1

0

Peru

0

0

1

Russian Federation

0

0

1

Turkey

0

0

1

Ukraine

0

0

1

United States

8

24

17

Total

26

38

39

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

 

 

Chart 3.3 Anti-dumping initiations by product

 

 

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.25.  Chart 3.4, reflecting annual figures, shows an upward trend in countervail initiations since 2010, notwithstanding some fluctuation in 2012. In fact, the number of initiations recorded in 2014 (45) exceeds the previous peak of 41 initiations observed in 1999.[18]

Chart 3.4 Countervailing investigation initiations by WTO Members, (2008 2015a)

a             Data for 2015 relate to the January to June period.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.26.  Among the thirteen Members using countervail during the three periods examined, the United States, which accounted for approximately 50% of all initiations in these periods, initiated the most new investigations. Canada, the second largest user, accounted for approximately 20%, while the EU accounted for 10%. The remaining 20% of investigations were conducted by ten different countries, including notably Egypt, which initiated five investigations in the current period. Over the three periods examined, 80% of countervail investigations were conducted concurrently with an anti-dumping investigation. 

3.27.  Concerning the types of products affected by countervail investigations, Chart 3.5 shows that metals accounted for most of the initiations reported over the three reporting periods, occupying a 31% share of all initiations in the first period, a 53% share in the second period and a 51% share in the current period. For the three periods combined, 48 of the 103 total initiations recorded covered metals, and 29 of these focused on steel products. The United States initiated 19 of the 29 investigations of steel products. Eleven of the 29 steel-related initiations targeted products from China and five targeted products from India.

3.28.  Chemicals were the second most-targeted sector with 13 initiations, followed closely by plastics with 12 initiations. The United States initiated the largest number of investigations against the chemical sector, with seven initiations. Egypt, however, had the largest number of initiations in the plastics sector (five) as it investigated imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from multiple sources.

Chart 3.5 Countervailing duty initiations by product

 

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.29.  In terms of countries affected by new countervail investigations, 11 exporting Members were affected during the first, 12 during the second and 18 during the current period. Similarly to anti-dumping, China was the most affected Member throughout the periods reviewed. Investigations into Chinese products accounted for 36% of all investigations during these periods. India, the second most affected Member during the three reporting periods, accounted for 14% of all initiations during these periods, followed by Turkey, which accounted for 7%.

3.30.  Initiations of safeguard investigations declined across all three periods, from 25 in the first period, to 21 in the second, and finally to 13 in the current period (Table 3.6).

Table 3.6 Initiations of safeguard investigations

(Number of new investigations)

Reporting Member

July 2012 - June 2013

July 2013 - June 2014

July 2014 - June 2015

Australia

2

0

0

Chile

2

0

0

Colombia

0

4

0

Costa Rica

0

1

0

Ecuador

0

0

1

Egypt

2

0

3

India

3

6

1

Indonesia

5

3

0

Jordan

0

0

1

Kyrgyz Rep.

0

1

0

Malaysia

0

0

1

Morocco

1

1

1

Philippines

0

2

0

Russian Federation

3

0

0

South Africa

2

0

0

Chinese Taipei

0

1

0

Thailand

2

1

0

Tunisia

0

0

2

Turkey

1

1

3

Ukraine

1

0

0

Viet Nam

1

0

0

Total

25

21

13

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.31.  Chart 3.6 shows a downward trend in safeguard initiations since 2013. It is noteworthy that the figures for 2009 and 2012, of 25 and 24, respectively, fall short of the peak of 34 initiations observed in 2002.[19] Based on the small number of initiations in the first half of 2015, it appears that the downward trend in the number of safeguard investigations initiated is continuing.

3.32.  Table 3.6 shows that India and Indonesia were the most active Members throughout the reporting periods, accounting respectively for 10 and 8 of the aggregate 59 new investigations. Egypt and Turkey, with a total of five investigations each, were also active in the periods examined. In the first six months of 2015, only Egypt, Morocco and Turkey initiated an investigation.

3.33.  In terms of product coverage, Chart 3.7 shows that safeguard investigations focused on a diverse range of sectors. As with anti-dumping and countervail initiations, metal products were the most affected by safeguard initiations and were the target of investigations in each of the three periods. Metals accounted for 20% of all safeguard initiations in the first period, 48% of initiations in the second period and 23% of initiations in the current period. Colombia (4 investigations), India (3 investigations) and Indonesia (3 investigations) accounted for over half the aggregate of 19 new investigations into metals.

3.34.  Chemicals ranked as the second most‑targeted sector overall, accounting for 16% of all initiations in the first period and 14% in the second period. However, no Member initiated a safeguard investigation into chemicals in the current period. India initiated five of the aggregate of seven new investigations into this sector.

3.35.  Prepared foodstuffs and paper products were equally the third most targeted sectors, accounting for seven investigations each across the three periods.

Chart 3.6 Safeguard investigation initiations by WTO Members (2008-2015a)

a             Data for 2015 relate to the January to June period.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Chart 3.7 Safeguard initiations by product

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Sunset Reviews

3.36.  This section examines the effect the global financial crisis may have had on anti-dumping and countervailing actions, by analysing the extent to which measures imposed following the financial crisis have been extended or have expired (or have otherwise been terminated) – the latter possibly suggesting that the financial crisis could have been a factor that contributed to the imposition of the measure. This section, therefore, examines measures imposed as a result of investigations initiated in 2008, before the financial crisis, as well as 2009 and 2010, when the full effects of the financial crisis were being felt.[20]

3.37.  The relevant WTO Agreements stipulate that anti-dumping and countervailing measures can remain in force only for as long as necessary to counteract injury caused by dumped or subsidised imports, and must expire no later than five years after their imposition unless it is determined, through a review, that removal of a measure would likely lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping or subsidisation and injury. In such a case, the measure can be extended for up to a further five years. This review process is often referred to as a sunset review. Investigating authorities generally invite applications for a sunset review before a measure expires, and in the absence of a review, they allow the measure to lapse.

3.38.  As of 30 June 2015, measures imposed as a result of investigations initiated in 2008-2010 are in various stages of their lifecycle. Some measures are still within the initial five-year imposition period, some are under review[21], some have been extended and some have expired.

3.39.  Chart 3.8 shows the status of AD and CVD measures resulting from investigations initiated in 2008, 2009 and 2010 by as at 30 June 2015.

Chart 3.8 Status of measures resulting from AD and CVD investigations initiated in 2008, 2009 and 2010 as at 30 June 2015

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.40.  Of the investigations initiated in 2008, only two of the resulting 167 measures have not yet been subject to expiry action (either a sunset review or termination), as opposed to 63 of the 164 measures for 2009. The vast majority of measures resulting from investigations initiated in 2010 (89 out of 111) have not yet been subject to any expiry action.

Table 3.7 Proportion of expiring measures that were subject to a sunset review for all WTO Members (based on the year the investigation was initiated)

Expiring measures

Investigation initiated in

2008

2009

2010a

Not reviewed

39%

37%

32%

Reviewed

61%

63%

68%

a             Only 22 measures resulting from investigations initiated in 2010 have so far expired or been subject to review.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.41.  Table 3.7 shows the proportion of measures that were due to expire for which a sunset review has been conducted; noting that measures not reviewed will automatically expire. For measures resulting from investigations initiated in 2009 ("the 2009 measures"), 63% were reviewed, similar to the 61% found for 2008 ("the 2008 measures"). Thus, a similar proportion of the 2008 measures (investigations started before the financial crisis) and 2009 measures (investigations started after the financial crisis had begun) expired without review. It is still too early to draw conclusions in relation to the measures based on investigations initiated in 2010.

3.42.  As at 30 June 2015, 44 sunset reviews had been completed for measures resulting from investigations initiated in 2008, nine for 2009 and seven for 2010, as shown in Table 3.8 below. For 2008 and 2009 measures which were reviewed, the relevant Member found that the expiry of the measure would lead to a continuation or recurrence of dumping/subsidisation and injury and extended the measures in 89% of cases – showing no change in relation to the financial crisis.

3.43.  Based on the data currently available, there is no discernible change in extension versus expiry of measures coinciding with the financial crisis. As further time passes and additional data become available, other trends may reveal themselves.

Table 3.8 Results from completed reviews (based on the year the investigation was initiated)

 

Investigation initiated in

2008

2009

2010

Number of completed reviews

44

9

7

Measure extended

89%

89%

71%

Expiry of measure

11%

11%

29%

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.3  Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS)[22]

3.44.  Under the SPS Agreement, WTO Members are obliged to provide an advance notice of intention to introduce new or modified SPS measures[23], or to notify immediately when emergency measures are imposed. The main objective of complying with the SPS notification obligations is to inform other Members about new or changed regulations that may significantly affect trade. Therefore, an increased number of notifications does not automatically imply greater use of protectionist measures, but rather enhanced transparency regarding food safety, animal and plant health measures, many or most of which are presumable legitimate health-protection measures.

3.45.  In the period from October 2014 through September 2015, 1,758 SPS notifications (regular and emergency, including addenda) were submitted[24] to the WTO, resulting in an increase of 19% in total notified measures compared to the previous period (1 October 2013 to 30 September 2014). Notifications from developing-country Members accounted for 69% of the total number. In the previous year, the total number of notifications and the proportion of measures notified by developing-country Members were lower: from October 2013 through September 2014, a total of 1,479 notifications (regular and emergency, including addenda) were submitted, of which 61% were notified by developing-country Members.

3.46.  From October 2014 through September 2015, WTO Members submitted 1,596 regular SPS notifications (including addenda), 68% of which were submitted by developing-country Members. Compared to the previous period (2013-2014), there was a 19% increase in the total number of regular notifications and a 40% increase in regular notifications by developing-country Members.

3.47.  The number of notifications of emergency measures (including addenda) also increased compared to the previous period (Chart 3.9), representing a 14% increase in the total number of emergency notifications (including addenda). The number of emergency notifications made by developing countries stayed roughly the same, and consequently their proportion decreased from 91% to 84%. These high percentage figures are consistent with the general trend of the majority of emergency measures being notified by developing-country Members. This might stem from the fact that they do not have as extensive SPS regulatory systems as developed-country Members do, and consequently, when facing emergency challenges, they are more likely to have to introduce new regulations or change existing ones.

Chart 3.9 Number of SPS notifications

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.48.  Many Members are following the recommendation to notify SPS measures even when these are based on a relevant international standard, as this substantially increases transparency regarding SPS measures. Of the 1,189 regular notifications (excluding addenda) submitted from October 2014 through September 2015, 636 (about 53% of the total) indicated that at least one international standard, guideline or recommendation was applicable to the notified measure (Chart 3.10). Of these, around 69% indicated that the proposed measure was in conformity with the existing international standard.

3.49.  International standards often provide useful guidance regarding measures to address disease outbreaks and other emergency situations. Indeed, about 92% (121 in total) of the 131 emergency notifications (excluding addenda) submitted from October 2014 through September 2015 indicated that an international standard, guideline or recommendation was applicable to the notified measure (Chart 3.11). Of these, all but one indicated that the measure was in conformity with the existing international standard.

 

Chart 3.10 Regular SPS notifications and international standards

 

Note:       Codex Alimentarius (Codex), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Chart 3.11 Emergency SPS notifications and international standards

 

Note:      Codex Alimentarius (Codex), World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.50.  Of the 1,189 regular notifications (excluding addenda) submitted from October 2014 through September 2015, the majority were related to food safety and plant protection.[25] The remaining notifications related to the protection of humans from animal diseases or plant pests, the protection of the Member's territory from other damage from pests, and animal health. Most of the regular notifications identified more than one objective per measure.

3.51.  Of the 131 emergency measures (excluding addenda) notified in the same period, the majority related to animal health, followed by measures related to the protection of humans from animal diseases or plant pests, food safety, plant protection and the protection of the Member's territory from other damage from pests. Similarly, the majority of emergency notifications during this period identified more than one objective per measure.

3.52.  While no formal provision for "counter notification" exists, concerns regarding the failure to notify an SPS measure, or regarding a notified measure, can be raised as a specific trade concern (STCs) at any of the three regular meetings of the SPS Committee each year. In the two Committee meetings of March and July 2015, 14 new STCs were raised. Five of these new STCs related to food safety, another five to animal health, two to plant health and another two were related to other concerns (Table 3.9). Furthermore, at the March 2015 meeting, one STC was reported as resolved.[26]

Table 3.9 SPS specific trade concerns raised between March and July 2015

STC

Document Title

Members maintaining the measure

Members raising the concern

Members supporting the concern

Date raised

Primary objective

383

China's measures on bovine meat

China

India

26/03/2015

Animal health

384

General import restrictions due to African swine fever

Certain Members

European Union

26/03/2015

Animal health

385

General import restrictions due to highly pathogenic avian influenza

Certain Members

European Union

26/03/2015

Animal health

386

Mexico's measures on imports of hibiscus flowers

Mexico

Nigeria

Burkina Faso, Senegal

26/03/2015

Plant health

387

Chinese Taipei's strengthened import restrictions on food with regard to radionuclides

Chinese Taipei

Japan

26/03/2015

Food safety

388

United States proposed rule for user fees for agricultural quarantine and inspection services

United States

Mexico

26/03/2015

Other concerns

389

Chinese import regime, including quarantine and testing procedures for fish

China

Norway

15/07/2015

Food safety

390

The Russian Federation's import restrictions on processed fishery products from Estonia and Latvia

Russian Federation

European Union

15/07/2015

Food safety

391

Malaysia's import restrictions related to approval of poultry meat plants

Malaysia

Brazil

15/07/2015

Other concerns

392

China's import restrictions due to African swine fever

China

European Union

15/07/2015

Animal health

393

The Republic of Korea's import restrictions due to African swine fever

Korea,

Rep. of

European Union

15/07/2015

Animal health

394

Costa Rica's temporary suspension of the issuing of phytosanitary import certificates for avocados

Costa Rica

Guatemala, Mexico

South Africa, United States

15/07/2015

Plant health

395

China's proposed amendments to the implementation regulations on safety assessment of agricultural GMOs

China

Paraguay, United States

15/07/2015

Food safety

396

EU proposal to amend regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003 to allow EU member States to restrict or prohibit the use of genetically modified food and feed

European Union

Argentina, Paraguay, United States

Brazil, Canada, Uruguay

15/07/2015

Food safety

 Source:  WTO Secretariat.

3.53.  Nineteen previously raised STCs were discussed at the March and July 2015 SPS Committee meetings. Of these previously raised STCs, four addressed persistent problems that have been discussed seven times or more. In particular, two STCs have been discussed on 18 or more occasions (Table 3.10). In addition, three STCs raised for the first time in March 2015 were discussed again in July 2015.[27]

Table 3.10 Previously-raised SPS specific trade concerns discussed in March and July 2015

STC

Document title

Members maintaining the measure

Members raising the concern

Members supporting the concern

First date raised

Times raised

193

General import restrictions due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE)

Certain Members

European Union,

United States

Canada, Switzerland, Uruguay

01/06/2001

24

238

Application and modification of the EU Regulation on Novel Foods

European Union

Colombia, Ecuador, Peru

Argentina, Benin, Bolivia-Plurinational State of, Brazil, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Philippines, Uruguay, Bolivarian Rep. of Venezuela

01/03/2006

18

289

Measures on catfish

United States

China

28/10/2009

4

330

Indonesia's port closures

Indonesia

Chile

Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Rep. of Korea, South Africa, Thailand, Uruguay

27/03/2012

7

340

Requirements for importation of sheep meat

Turkey

Australia

United States

18/10/2012

7

346

Ban on Bisphenol A (BPA)

European Union, France

United States

Brazil

21/03/2013

2

354

Import restrictions in response to the nuclear power plant accident

China; Chinese Taipei; Hong Kong, China; certain Members

Japan

27/06/2013

5

356

Phytosanitary measures on citrus black spot

European Union

South Africa

Argentina

27/06/2013

4

358

Import conditions for pork and pork products

India

European Union

Canada

16/10/2013

5

359

Strengthened import restrictions on food and feeds with regard to radionuclides

Korea, Rep. of

Japan

16/10/2013

4

373

United States high cost of certification for mango exports

United States

India

Dominican Republic

09/07/2014

3

374

EU ban on certain vegetables from India

European Union

India

Nigeria

09/07/2014

3

375

United States non‑acceptance of OIE categorization for BSE

United States

India

09/07/2014

3

376

Australia's non-acceptance of OIE categorization for BSE

Australia

India

09/07/2014

3

378

EU withdrawal of equivalence for processed organic products

European Union

India

09/07/2014

3

382

EU revised proposal for categorization of compounds as endocrine disruptors

European Union

United States

Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Uruguay

25/03/2014

2

383

China's measures on bovine meat

China

India

 

26/03/2015

1

387

Chinese Taipei's import restrictions on Japanese foods in response to the nuclear plant accident

Chinese Taipei

Japan

 

26/03/2015

1

388

United States' proposed rule for user fees for agricultural quarantine and inspection

United States

Mexico

 

26/03/2015

1

 Source: WTO Secretariat.

3.54.  Analysing the March 2015 and July 2015 SPS Committee meetings, 36% of all STCs raised for the first time concerned food safety, 36% concerned measures covering animal health, 14% covered plant health and 14% related to other types of concerns.[28] Regarding previously-raised STCs in the reviewed period, 32% concerned animal health, 32% concerned measures covering food safety, 21% covered plant health and 16% related to other types of concerns.[29] Of the total raised or discussed STCs in the reviewed period, 33% concerned measures covering animal health, 33% covered food safety, 18% concerned plant health and 15% of total STCs related to other types of concerns.

3.4  Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT)

3.55.  Under the TBT Agreement, WTO Members are obliged to notify their intention to introduce new or modified TBT measures, or to notify immediately after adopted emergency measures are imposed. The main objective of complying with the TBT notification obligations is to inform other Members about new or changed regulations that may significantly affect trade.[30] Therefore, an increased number of notifications does not necessarily imply greater use of protectionist or unnecessarily trade-restrictive measures. TBT notification obligations are meant to promote enhanced transparency regarding measures taken to address legitimate policy objectives, such as the protection of human, animal or plant life or health, or the environment.

3.56.  During the period from 1 January to 25 September 2015 ("review period"), WTO Members submitted 1,039 regular notifications of TBT measures[31], of which around 84% were submitted by developing-country Members.[32] This overall number of 1,039 notifications is markedly lower than in the period January 2014 – September 2014, although the proportion from developing countries is only slightly higher.[33] The United States submitted the highest number of notifications during the review period (218), followed by Brazil (89) and the Republic of Korea (65). The main objectives[34] indicated in these notifications were: "protection of human health or safety" (47%); "prevention of deceptive practices and consumer protection" (18%); and "protection of the environment" (13%).

3.57.  Any Member may raise Specific Trade Concerns (STCs) with respect to TBT measures taken or proposed by other Members.[35] These STCs are frequently discussed in the regular meetings of the TBT Committee, with between 40 to 50 STCs discussed per meeting in recent years (Chart 3.12). Depending on the extent of the trade disruption and importance of the issue to the Members raising the STC, the same measure may come up at one or more meetings of the TBT Committee. For example, a STC may be discussed at only one meeting (as a new STC), and subsequently a resolution may be found; on the other hand, an STC may be discussed at subsequent meetings to the one in which it was first raised (previously raised STC), usually reserved for long standing and more serious concerns. Trends with respect to such "persistently raised STCs" are briefly discussed below.

 

3.58.  Since 1995 and up to 25 September 2015, Members have raised 473 new STCs. In 2014, a record of 47 new STCs were raised, the most in any given year since 1995. An upward trend in STCs has been observed since 2005 (see Chart 3.12). 2014 was also the second highest year in the overall number of STCs (new and previously-raised) discussed (85).[36] So far in 2015, fewer new STCs have been raised as compared to recent years, but the number of previous STCs is higher than in any year after 2012, and already the second peak in the history of the TBT Committee, with one TBT Committee meeting still to come in November 2015. While Members are flagging fewer new TBT issues in the Committee, issues from past years that have become entrenched in legislation are the focus of persistent concerns.

3.59.  As illustrated by Chart 3.13, there is a marked correlation between the number of new notifications and new STCs raised each year. On average, since 1995, 66% of STCs discussed in TBT Committee meetings relate to notified measures.[37]

3.60.  Members raised 20 new STCs during the Committee meetings that fell within the reviewed period (March and June 2015). Overall, 73 new and previously-raised STCs were discussed, keeping with the trend of a greater number of STCs being discussed per meeting as well as per year. The list of all new concerns raised in the March and June 2015 meetings is provided in Table 3.11.

3.61.  Chart 3.14 illustrates that the number of STCs discussed in the TBT Committee annually has grown significantly between 2005 and 2014 (from 33 to 148). This upward trend, which is likely to be maintained in 2015, shows that the Committee has spent more time discussing STCs than any other item on the agenda (only an average of around 11 STCs were discussed per meeting in 2005 while that figure was 49 in 2014).

Chart 3.12 Number of STCs raised with respect to Members' TBT measures per year

Note:       This chart counts the number of TBT measures discussed as STCs per year. Data for 2015 do not include STCs raised at the November 2015 TBT Committee meeting. Previously raised concerns are counted only once even if they are raised in subsequent meetings.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

Chart 3.13 Number of notifications versus number of new STCs

Note:       STCs raised in November 2015 are not included.

Source:   WTO Secretariat. WTO document G/TBT/36, 23 February 2015.

Chart 3.14 STCs discussed per committee meeting, 2005 – 2015

Note:       This chart counts the number of STCs on the agenda of the TBT Committee per meeting. Note that the same STC can be raised at all three meetings in a year and, in this chart, is counted under all three meetings. Data for 2015 do not include STCs raised at the November 2015 TBT Committee meeting.

Source:   WTO Secretariat. WTO document G/TBT/36, 23 February 2015.

3.62.  Around 26% of the 73 STCs (new and previous) raised during the review period concern measures regulating alcohol (6), cosmetics (6), tobacco (5) and nutrition (2). Besides these areas, STCs from the review period addressed a range of issues, including two that are becoming more frequently discussed in the Committee: IT and environment. Trade concerns related to toy safety also featured on the agenda, with a total of five trade concerns among which two were new. Regulations by the EU and Chinese Taipei on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food and crops were the subject of two new specific trade concerns.

Table 3.11 New STCs raised during the March and June 2015 TBT Committee meetings

Member maintaining the measure (in alphabetical order)

STC title

Stated objective

Product coverage

Member(s) raising the concern

Canada

Tobacco Reduction (Flavored Tobacco Products) Amendment Act, 2013 – Bill 206 (ID 463)

 

Protection of human health and safety

Flavoured tobacco products

Indonesia

Brazil

Draft Ordinance Act Nº. 374, 27 November 2014 (Portaria SDA/MAPA 374/2014) establishes quality requirements for wine and derivatives of grape and wine, G/TBT/N/BRA/613

Prevention of deceptive practices and consumer protection; Quality requirements

Wine; Grape juice, sweetened or not; Vinegar. Wine of fresh grapes, including fortified wines; grape other than that of heading 20.09. (HS: 2204), Vinegar and substitutes for vinegar obtained from acetic acid.

 

European Union

China

Administrative Measure on Cosmetics Labelling (AMCL) (ID 456)

Integrating, summarizing and adjusting the relevant existing regulations and standards to promote the norm, healthy development of the industry.

 

Cosmetics

Canada; Japan; Republic of Korea; United States; European Union

 

China

Banking IT Equipment Security Regulation (ID 457)

To strengthen the security of the information network

 

IT banking system

Canada; Japan; United States; European Union

China

Registration Fees for Drugs and Medical Device Products

 

N/A

Medical Devices

Canada; United States; Republic of Korea

China

Technical Specification for Natural Rubber

 

N/A

Natural Rubber

Indonesia; Malaysia

Ecuador

Emergency Technical Regulation (RTE) No. 088: "Surface tension agents", of the Ecuadorian Standardization Institute (INEN) G/TBT/N/ECU/117 (ID 458)

 

Protection of human health and safety; protection of the environment; prevention of deceptive practices

Surface tension agents

Mexico

 

European Union

Proposed modification of Regulation (EC) 1829/2003 referring to genetically modified organisms, G/TBT/N/EU/284

Allow Member States to take into account other considerations than those assessed under the EU procedure of authorisation

Genetically modified food and feed

Argentina; Paraguay; United States; Canada; Brazil

France

Ban on BPA in toys

 

Toys

United States

 

Indonesia

Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture No. 39/Permentan/PD.4, 10 December 2014, concerning Importation of Carcass, Meat and/or Processed Meat Products into the Territory of the Republic of Indonesia, and Regulation of the Minister of Agriculture No. 02/Permentan/PD.4, 10 January 2015, concerning the Amendment of the Regulation of the Minister for Agriculture No. 39/Permentan/PD.4, 10 December 2014 (ID 461)

 

Protection of human health and safety; protection of the environment

Meat

Australia; Canada; European Union

Indonesia

MOI 69/2014 Article 3: LCR Requirements for LTE Devices - Requirement that Domestic Component Level (TKDN) of LTE TDD & FDD broadband services equipment

 

N/A

Telecommunication devices-LTE Products

United States; Canada; Japan; Australia; European Union

Japan

Wood Use Points Programme (ID 459)

Protection of the environment; development in rural areas

 

Wood

Russian Federation

Mexico

Standard on

non-alcoholic and soft drinks (ID 462)

N/A

Juices and non-alcoholic drinks

El Salvador

Norway

Draft amendments to the Tobacco Control Act and the Tobacco Labelling Regulations relating to Standardised Tobacco Products

 

Protection of human health and safety

Tobacco

Indonesia; Dominican Republic; Zimbabwe; Cuba

Russian Federation

Technical Regulations on Safety of Railway Transport (TR CU No. 002/2011 and No. 003/2011) (ID 460)

 

Protection of human health and safety

Railway transport

Ukraine

Russian Federation

Measure affecting import of Ukrainian food salt

 

Consumer Protection

Food salt

Ukraine

Sweden

Chemical Taxation for Certain Electronics

 

N/A

Electronics

Republic of Korea

Chinese Taipei

GMO Labelling

Protection of consumer rights

Pre-packaged food, unpackaged food and food additives

Canada; United States; New Zealand

 

Chinese Taipei

 

Additional labelling standard of prefecture of origin for foods from Japan

 

Validation of area of production

Food

Japan

Turkey

Toy Communique 01/2015

Protection of human health and safety

Toys

United States

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.63.  Eight of the 53 previously-raised STCs (Table 3.12) during the review period addressed persistent concerns that have been discussed in the Committee for a number of years (10 or more times). The majority (62%) of the persistently raised STCs relate to the objective of the protection of human health and safety. Overall, cosmetics and IT products constitute the most frequently raised product categories.

Table 3.12 Persistently raised STCs

 

Persistently raised STCs

(March and June 2015 TBT Committee meetings)

Frequency

1

India - Pneumatic tyres and tubes for automotive vehicles.

27 times

2

India - Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 2007.

20 times

3

China - Provisions for the Administration of Cosmetics Application.

15 times

4

India - New Telecommunications related Rules (Department of Telecommunications, No. 842-725/2005-VAS/Vol.III (3 December 2009); No. 10-15/2009-AS-III/193 (18 March 2010); and Nos. 10-15/2009-AS.III/Vol.II/(Pt.)/(25-29) (28 July 2010); Department of Telecommunications, No. 10-15/2009-AS.III/Vol.II/(Pt.)/(30) (28 July 2010) and accompanying template, "Security and Business Continuity Agreement").

15 times

5

China Requirements for information security products, including, inter alia, the Office of State Commercial Cryptography Administration (OSCCA) 1999 Regulation on commercial encryption products and its on-going revision and the Multi-Level Protection Scheme (MLPS).

14 times

6

Russian Federation Draft on Technical Regulation of Alcohol Drinks Safety (published on 24 October 2011).

11 times

7

Republic of Korea Regulation on Registration and Evaluation of Chemical Material.

11 times

8

Indonesia - Technical Guidelines for the Implementation of the Adoption and Supervision of Indonesian National Standards for Obligatory Toy Safety.

11 times

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.5  Trade Concerns Raised in Other WTO Bodies

3.64.  During the period covered by this report a number of other trade concerns were raised by Members in formal meetings of various WTO bodies.[38] With a view to increasing transparency, this section aims to provide a brief and factual overview of such concerns raised between mid‑October 2014 and mid-October 2015.[39] As this section does not seek to reproduce the full substantive description of the trade concerns described by Members, a specific reference is made to the relevant formal meeting where a particular issue was raised. For the full account and context of the concerns, Members are invited to consult the records of the respective WTO bodies. The list of concerns and issues mentioned in this section is not exhaustive.

3.65.  At the meeting of Council for Trade in Goods (CTG) on 26 March 2015[40] new concerns were raised on (i) the restrictive measures on automobiles adopted by Ecuador (Japan) and (ii) Ecuador's Resolution 11-2015 establishing a temporary import surcharge for balance‑of‑payments (BOPs) reasons (Japan). The latest measure has been also raised in the Committee on Balance‑of‑Payments.

3.66.  The above-mentioned concerns were reiterated at the CTG meeting of 26 June 2015[41] together with other concerns which had been previously raised on (i) Nigeria's restrictions/ban on imports of sea products (Iceland and Norway); (ii) Nigeria's local‑content measures in the energy sector, which had also been raised in 2011, 2014 and in the April 2015 TRIMs Committee (EU and the United States); (iii) the Russian Federation's measures particularly affecting the automotive sector where local content requirements are imposed to obtain preferential treatment in the assembly process, and the subsidies provided to domestic producers in the areas of energy consumption; production of ecologically‑friendly vehicles; employment and; development (Australia, Canada, EU, Japan, New Zealand, Ukraine and the United States); (iv) Indonesia's trade and investment restrictions, including import licensing requirements, unique technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures, pre‑shipment inspection requirements, export restrictions, and local content and domestic manufacturing requirements (Australia, Brazil, Canada, EU, Japan, New Zealand, Chinese Taipei and the United States). At the same meeting new concerns were expressed on (i) Pakistan's discriminatory taxes implemented with Regulatory Order No. 1125 (Canada, EU, Norway, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei and the United States) also raised at the Committee of Market Access and during Pakistan's recent Trade Policy Review and; (ii) the EU's low pace in compensation negotiations following the accession of Croatia (Brazil).

3.67.  At the meeting, of the Committee on Market Access on 4 June 2015[42], Switzerland raised the issue of the discrepancy between bound and applied duties on cigarettes implemented by the Kingdom of Bahrain. At the same meeting the EU expressed its concerns on Pakistan's discriminatory taxation between imported products and like domestic products, an issue which had been previously raised in Pakistan's recent Trade Policy Review. At the 29 September 2015 meeting[43], concerns were reiterated on customs duties on cigarettes implemented by the Kingdom of Bahrain (Switzerland) and Pakistan's discriminatory taxes (EU). New concerns were raised on (i) Colombia's excise taxes on alcoholic beverages (EU); (ii) Argentina's tax discrimination against imported vehicles (EU); (iii) certain import restrictions imposed by Haiti (Dominican Republic); and (iv) on Nigeria's import restrictions (Chile).

3.68.  In the Committee on Agriculture (CoA)[44] a number of questions and concerns were raised with respect to Members' individual notifications and on implementation-related issues under Article 18.6. During the period concerned, a total of 401 questions were discussed, including on individual notifications (303 questions) and under Article 18.6 (91 questions), as well as on overdue notifications (7 questions). Additional details regarding these questions and concerns can be found in Section 3.6 of the report.

3.69.  At the meeting of the Committee on Customs Valuation[45] concerns were reiterated on issues previously raised on (i) the alleged use by Armenia of reference prices (the United States); and (ii) Indonesia's lack of notifications on Pre-Shipment Inspection measures (the United States).

3.70.  A number of concerns were raised at the meeting of the Committee on Import Licensing[46] on (i) Angola's Joint Executive Decree 22/15 regulating the importation, distribution and sale of food/non-food products (EU); (ii) India's import licensing system on marble and marble products (EU); (iii) Nigeria's licensing procedures on importation of maritime pelagic fish (EU); (iv) Turkey's surveillance licensing regime on import authorisation of old, second‑hand and renovated goods, and its import regime for non-fuel petroleum products (EU); (v) Mexico's automatic licensing procedures on certain steel products (the United States); (vi) issues related to the product coverage and implementation of the import licensing regime of Viet Nam (the United States); (vii) Brazil's non‑automatic licensing measures on the importation of nitrocellulose (the United States); (viii) Indonesia's import licensing regime on cellular phones, handheld computers and tablets (the United States); (ix) India's import licensing requirements on boric acid (the United States); (x) Bangladesh's import licensing procedures and in particular with respect to the importation of medicines (the United States); and (xi) Indonesia's import licensing regulations on carcasses and processed meat products (Australia).

3.71.  In the upcoming meeting of the Committee scheduled for the 20 October[47], a number of trade concerns have been included in the agenda. Some of them are issues which have been raised in previous meetings as for example, India's import procedures on marble and marble products (EU) and Brazil's regulatory requirements for imports of nitrocellulose (EU). The United States will make statements on Indonesia's import licensing regime for cell phones, handheld computers and tablets, India's import licensing requirements on boric acid, Mexico's steel import licensing program, Bangladesh's import licensing procedures as well as Viet Nam's imports of distilled spirits. New trade concerns will be raised on (i) Indonesia's new regulation on tyre imports (EU) and (ii) India's amendments in the import policy conditions applicable to apples (EU and the United States).

3.72.  A number of new concerns were expressed at the 16 April 2015 meeting of Trade-Related Investment Measures (TRIMs) Committee[48] on (i) China's local content requirements for purchases of technology by the banking sector (the United States and Japan); (ii) Indonesia's local content requirement for 4G LTE mobile devices (the United States); (iii) India's local content requirement in solar power generation projects (EU); (iv) Turkey's local content requirements in the electricity generation (EU); (v) the support measures by the Russian Federation for the automotive sector (EU and Japan) and; (vi) the Russian Federation's local content requirements for purchases by state-owned enterprises (EU and the United States). Other concerns expressed at the meeting include issues previously raised on (i) certain preferences granted by India to domestically manufactured electronic goods and telecommunication products (EU); (ii) measures by Indonesia addressing local content in investment in the telecommunications sector (Japan); (iii) Indonesia's local content provisions in the energy sector (EU, Japan and the United States); (iv) local content measures taken by Nigeria in the energy sector (EU); (v) local content requirements in some U.S. renewable energy programmes (India); (vi) the Russian Federation's local content requirements for agricultural equipment (EU); (vii) Indonesia's minimum local product requirements for modern retail sector (EU, Japan and the United States) and; (viii) restrictions of Indonesia's newly adopted Industry Law and Trade Law (EU, Japan and the United States).

3.73.  One new concern was expressed at the TRIMs Committee of 5 October 2015[49] relating to the Republic of Korea's assistance measures for agricultural machinery (Japan). Other concerns expressed at the meeting included issues previously raised on: (i) India's local content requirement in solar power generation projects (EU); (ii) Indonesia's local content requirement for 4G LTE mobile devices (the United States); (iii) Indonesia's local content provisions in the energy sector (EU, Japan and the United States); (iv) measures by Indonesia addressing local content in investment in the telecommunications sector (Japan and the United States); (v) Indonesia's minimum local product requirements for modern retail sector (EU, Japan and the United States) and; (vi) restrictions of Indonesia's newly adopted Industry Law and Trade Law (EU, Japan and the United States); (vii) local content measures taken by Nigeria in the energy sector (EU and the United States); (viii) support measures by the Russian Federation for the automotive sector (EU, Japan); (ix) the Russian Federation's local content requirements for purchases by state-owned enterprises (EU and the United States); (x) the Russian Federation's local content requirements for agricultural equipment (EU and the United States) and; (xi) local content requirements in some U.S. renewable energy programmes (India).

3.74.  In the Committee on Safeguards[50], concerns were raised at the 27 October 2014 meeting and the 27 April 2015 meeting regarding (i) Colombia's bars and rods of low-carbon steel; (ii) Ecuador's wood and bamboo flooring and accessories thereof; (iii) Egypt's steel rebar; white sugar and; automotive batteries; (iv) India's seamless pipes, tubes and hollow profiles of iron or non-alloy steel; saturated fatty alcohols; flexible slabstock polyol and; not-alloyed ingots of unwrought aluminium; (v) Indonesia's coated paper and paperboard, not including banknotes; cotton yarn other than sewing; wheat flour; flat-rolled product of iron or non-alloy and; I and H sections of other alloy steel; (vi) Malaysia's hot-rolled steel plate; (vii) Morocco's cold-rolled sheets and plated or coated sheets and; wire rods and reinforcing bars; (viii) Philippines' steel angle bars and; newsprint; (ix) South Africa's frozen potato chips; (x) Thailand's non-alloy hot rolled steel flat products; (xi) Tunisia's fibreboard of wood and; glass bottles; (xii) Turkey's polyethylene terephthalate; printing, writing and copying paper; terephthalic acid; wallpaper and similar wallcoverings and; transmission apparatus incorporating reception apparatus (cellular) portable telephone and; (xiii) Ukraine's tableware and kitchenware of porcelain and; casing and pump‑compressor seamless steel pipes.

3.75.  Members also discussed the Russian Federation's alleged non-notification of certain safeguard actions initiated before its accession to the WTO and the Kingdom of Bahrain's alleged delay in notifying its safeguard legislation.

3.76.  In the Committee on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures[51] concerns were raised at the 28 October 2014 and 28 April 2015 meetings in respect of countervailing duty actions on (i) India's investigation on imports of casting for wind operated electricity generators (China); (ii) U.S.' investigation on imports of certain crystalline silicon photovoltaic products (China); U.S. measures on Turkish iron and steel products (Turkey) and; (iv) Ukraine's investigation on imports of light motor vehicles (the Russian Federation). With respect to notifications, concerns were raised about the non‑notification of alleged subsidies by India and China, and requests were made to China for more information on certain alleged subsidy programmes (the United States). On subsidies, concerns were raised on (i) certain local content requirements in renewable energy sector subsidy schemes in the United States (Russian Federation and India); (ii) Japan's support for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet project in the aircraft sector (Brazil); (iii) India's sugar subsidies provided under its Sugar Development Fund (Australia); (iv) support provided by Canada for the development of a new cement facility in Quebec (the United States) and; (v) India's export subsidies in the textile and apparel sector (the United States).

3.77.  At the 29 October 2014 and 29 April 2015 meetings of the Committee on Anti-Dumping Practices[52] concerns were raised on (i) Argentina's investigation on imports of copper-based fungicides (Chile); review of the anti-dumping measure on air-conditioning products (Thailand) and; the sunset review and change of circumstances review on locks and chains (Peru); (ii) Australia's investigation into rod in coils (Turkey); on imports of quenched and tempered steel plate (Japan) and; on steel reinforcing bar (Turkey); (iii) Brazil's investigation on biaxially-oriented polypropylene (Peru, Chile and Colombia) and; on bus and truck tyres (Korea, Rep. of); (iv) China's investigation on optical fibre preform (Japan); on methyl methacrylate (Japan) and; sunset review on polyvinyl chloride (Japan); (v) the Dominican Republic's imposition of definitive measures on steel rods and bars for concrete reinforcement (Turkey); (vi) the EU's simultaneous anti-dumping and countervailing investigation on imports of stainless steel cold rolled flat products (China); the measures on ammonium nitrate, seamless pipes and tubes, welded tubes and pipes (Russian Federation) and; the investigations on aluminium foils and grain oriented flat rolled products of silicon electrical steel (Russian Federation); (vii) India's investigation on flexible slab stock polyol (Australia); on ethyl hexanol and butanol (EU); on acetone, purified terephthalic acid and phenol (Korea, Rep. of); on investigation and measures on sodium nitrate (Ukraine); (viii) Indonesia's initiation of an investigation against wheat flour (Turkey) and; the sunset review on hot rolled coil (Korea, Rep. of and the Russian Federation) and; (ix) the Republic of Korea's investigation on valves for pneumatic transmissions (Japan).

3.78.  Concerns were also raised on (x) Mexico's measures on certain steel products, thick hot rolled coils, thin hot rolled coils, thick hot rolled plate and cold rolled coils (Russian Federation) and; preliminary determination in the investigation on ammonium sulphate (the United States); (xi) Morocco's final determination regarding the investigation on imports of hot rolled steel sheets (Turkey); (xii) Philippines' provisional anti-dumping measures on wheat flour (Turkey); (xiii) South Africa's investigation on frozen chicken (EU); (xiv) Turkey's investigation on cotton (the United States); (xv) Ukraine's interim review of anti-dumping measures on nitrate ammonium (Russian Federation); partial interim review of measures on float glass (Russian Federation); measures on point works (Russian Federation); (xvi) the U.S. investigation on imports of grain‑oriented electrical steel (Russian Federation); the great length of U.S. anti-dumping measures against certain Japanese products (Japan); the investigation on non-oriented electrical steel (Japan); (xvii) the preliminary and final determinations made by Viet Nam on exports of cold rolled stainless steel (Malaysia) and; (xviii) the expiry review of the measure imposed by the EU on imports of ammonium nitrate (Russian Federation). Other trade concerns were raised in relation to certain practices of Members on product scope determinations in anti-dumping investigations by the Russian Federation. Finally, Mexico raised concerns over Colombia's investigation on DOP plasticizers, while Peru voiced concerns over Argentina's sunset review on fasteners.

3.79.  In the meetings of the Committee on Balance-of-Payments (BOPs) Restrictions consultations were held with Ukraine[53] and Ecuador[54] and trade concerns were raised by a number of Members on the introduction of an import surcharge for BOP purposes.

3.80.  At the Council for Trade in Services (CTS) meeting of 28 November 2014[55] concerns were raised on Ukraine's reforms of its Unified Gas Transportation System (Russian Federation). These concerns were reiterated at the meetings of 18 March, 3 June 2015 and 15 October 2015.[56]

3.81.  Concerns previously raised at the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)[57] with respect to Australia's measures related to plain packaging of tobacco products and their compatibility with the TRIPS Agreement (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Ukraine and Zimbabwe) were reiterated in the first meeting in 2015[58] (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Indonesia, Nicaragua, Nigeria and Zimbabwe).

3.82.  In the Committee on Trade and Development (CTD), several least-developed countries (LDCs) raised concerns with the lack of progress in the implementation of the duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access decision for LDCs. A request was made for the Secretariat to assist in an assessment of the implementation of the DFQF decision.[59] In the CTD's Dedicated Session on Small Economies, a predominant trade concern, in the period under review, was how small and vulnerable economies could better integrate into global value chains in goods and services trade. A Secretariat report on this subject was discussed by Members.[60]

3.83.  In the Committee on Government Procurement[61] concerns were raised regarding a number of "Buy American" or similar legislative initiatives (Canada) and were reiterated in its first meeting of 2015[62] (Canada).

3.6  Policy Developments in Agriculture

3.84.  The Committee on Agriculture (CoA) provides a forum for Members to discuss matters related to agriculture trade and to consult on matters relating to the Members' implementation of commitments under the AoA, including rules-based commitments. The review work by the CoA is based on notifications Members make on their commitments. There is also a provision in Article 18.6 that allows Members to raise any matter relevant to the implementation of the commitments under the AoA.

3.85.  In the framework of the CoA meetings in November 2014, March 2015, June 2015 and September 2015, Members posed a total of 401 questions, including both questions on individual notifications and under Article 18.6, with more than half of those questions (246) directed at issues related to domestic support notifications or implementation of domestic support commitments.

3.86.  In total, nine Members raised 92 questions on 41 implementation-related issues (Article 18.6) in the above‑mentioned meetings. As can be seen in Chart 3.15, 2014 is the year which has had the largest number of questions raised under Article 18.6.

Chart 3.15 Number of questions raised under Article 18.6 (1995-2015a)

 

a                         Until 15 October 2015.

Source:   WTO Secretariat.

3.87.  Out of the 41 implementation‑related issues raised in the CoA in the review period, 24 issues were discussed for the first time, whereas the remaining issues had been discussed one or more times in previous years under matters raised under Article 18.6. Table 3.13 indicates the specific issues relating to implementation commitments that were discussed for the first time in the CoA during these three CoA meetings.

Table 3.13 New Article 18.6 issues

CoA meeting number

COA meeting date

Question raised by

Answered by

Question summary

Products

78, 77, 76

24/09/2015 04/06/2015 04/03/2015

United States

India

Cotton policies

Cotton

78, 77

24/09/2015 04/06/2015

European Union

China

Maize subsidies

Corn

78, 77

25/09/2015 04/06/2015