south-north development monitor - SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4366
Wednesday, 3 February 1999


Trade: After bananas, it is turn of hormone beef & India mail-box (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Communications: New ITU head, deputies take over (TWN, Geneva)

Trade: Brazil irks Mercosur partners (IPS, Montevideo)

Finance: Steady dollar looks tempting for Peru (IPS, Lima)

Trade: No British visas for farmers' protest march (IPS, London)

India: Cut in food subsidies angers government allies (IPS, New Delhi)

Commodities: Colombian earthquake threatens coffee quality (IPS, Bogota)

Asia: Despite crisis, labour migration continues (IPS, Bangkok)

Excerpts from selected articles:

Trade: After bananas, it is turn of hormone beef & India mail-box

Geneva, 2 Feb (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- If anyone in the international trading community had been under any illusions about the US-EC (banana) "truce" at the World Trade Organization, they ought to have been removed by US-EC exchanges on the new fights ahead.

The US and EC "positioned" themselves for new fights (and possible US retaliation threats) over the EC intentions and implementation, by 13 May deadline, of the WTO ruling on imports of beef from hormone-treated cattle.

The DSB set up panels to hear complaints over the Canadian patents law on pharmaceutical (that enables others to be ready to launch on the market generic name products when patents expire), a US trade law provision of 1916 on anti-dumping that enables private parties (which the US Steel industry has been using) to start harassment litigation against importers, and the Canadian automotive industry (where performance requirements are a condition for imports of new cars).

The DSB, under other business, was also advised that India (Malaysia, Pakistan and Thailand) have reached an agreement with the US, giving the US 13 months (from 6 Nov 1998, when the ruling was adopted) to implement the DSB recommendations over the US restrictions on shrimp imports (caught without the US turtle exclusion devices).

On the India's implementation of the WTO ruling on patents (mail-box), where India is required to enact by law what is popularly called a "mail-box" mechanism to receive product patent applications in the pharmaceutical and agro-chemical sectors and provision for issuance of single marketing rights, the US took a slightly less strident posture, but complained that India had not "developed" its implementation measures in consultation with the US, and that in the US view certain provisions of the ordinance issued by the President of India did not comply with the TRIPs Agreement.

Over these last few weeks, as the banana dispute and US retaliation threats had occupied the WTO attention, US officials have made clear their intentions to exercise their "rights" under the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU) on other disputes.

They have made known that the beef hormone and the Indian "mail-box" issues were next in the queue (for US retaliatory threats), and that the US would have similar recourse to Art. 22.6 (without a WTO a prior panel judgement under 21.5 on implementation) -- unilaterally determine, under its S. 301 law, whether the other partner had implemDevelopment Bureau.......


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