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Developments at the


Our practice involves monitoring dispute resolution decisions between sovereign countries at the WTO.  We also monitor guidance decisions undertaken by the WCO.  We provide additional information on these bodies below:

The World Trade Organization (WTO)

The World Trade Organization (WTO) was established in 1995, as the predecessor organization to the GATT.  It’s composed of 164 member nation states.  It describes its mission as the creation of “a strong and prosperous international trading system…” and describes itself as “the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations.”

An important function of the WTO is to hear and resolve trade disputes between member countries.  This function is administered by the dispute resolution body. 

The main WTO agreement on settling disputes is known as the Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). Following on that agreement additional materials are as follows:


The World Customs Organization  (WCO) 

The WCO is an independent intergovernmental body composed of 182 customs administrations from WTO member Nations.  It’s mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.   

The WCO describes itself as “the global centre of Customs expertise . . .  the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.” 


Active WCO committees are as follows:

  • Harmonized System Committee

  • Harmonized System Review Sub-Committee

  • Harmonized System Working Party

  • Technical Committee on Rules of Origin (TCRO)

  • Technical Committee on Customs Valuation








June 4, 2019: Canada’s appeal in the WTO Softwood Lumber dispute case.

June 4, 2019: WTO Annual Report. Video Summary.

April 10, 2019: WTO: DS534: United States — Anti-Dumping Measures Applying Differential Pricing Methodology to Softwood Lumber from Canada

December 27, 2018: WTO: EU files complaint against unfair actions of China.

December 18, 2018: Bloomberg article: WTO: U.S. blocks China complaint.

October 30, 2018: American Shipper article: U.S. gets spotlight at WTO dispute meeting

August 22, 2018: WSJ article re: tensions between US and China in WTO: “For US to Stay in WTO, China May Have to Leave.”

August 27, 2018: Reuters article: US to block renewal of 4th WTO judge.

August 24, 2018:  USTR solicits public comment on China's compliance with WTO standards. 

May 15, 2018: USTR: WTO that Airbus Continues to violate WTO rules.

February 2, 2018: WCO: Tariff classification rulings release

January 24, 2018: USTR: Report to Congress On China’s WTO Compliance: "It is now clear that the WTO rules are not sufficient to constrain China’s market-distorting behavior"  Reuters

January 19, 2018:  WTO Arbitrator determines “reasonable period of time” in US-China anti-dumping dispute.

January 15, 2018:  Article: Korea follows Canada's WTO move by filing to the Dispute Settlement Body against US ADCVD on Korean Washers.

January 14, 2018:  Article: WTO Canada's complaint "based on 200 examples of offenses."

January 13, 2018:  Article: Vietnam files WTO complaint on seafood.

January 10, 2018: WTO: Canada files dispute to the WTO over Softwood Lumber.. Financial Times Article.  USTR Lighthizer's response.

January 10, 2018: WTO: Canada files dispute to the WTO over Softwood Lumber.. Financial Times Article.  USTR Lighthizer's response.

December 2017: 

WTO: Moving forward with e-Commerce Gateway.  Argentina summary

November 2017:

October 2017: Article: Why the US is unhappy with the WTO.