At a meeting of the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on 26 July, WTO members agreed to the establishment of a panel at Canada’s request to examine measures in China affecting the import of canola seed from Canada.
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Members also considered a request from China for the establishment of a panel to review China’s compliance with a 2019 ruling regarding its administration of tariff rate quotas (TRQs) on certain agricultural products.
Canada submitted its second request for the establishment of a dispute panel to examine two sets of measures affecting the importation of canola seed from Canada, in response to alleged repeated detection of quarantine pests in shipments from the two Canadian companies. Canada's first request was blocked by China at the last DSB meeting on 28 June.
Canada reiterated that it was disappointed and concerned that sufficient scientific evidence to justify China’s canola measures had not been provided. Canada noted China is an important export market for Canadian canola seed, and China’s restrictive measures continue to have a serious, negative impact on Canadian producers. Canada said that in the absence of concrete steps from China to address its concerns, Canada is again requesting the establishment of a WTO panel. Canada said it remains open to continuing dialogue with China in a manner that will address its concerns and fully restore market access for Canadian canola seed in a timely fashion.
China said it regretted Canada's decision to submit a second request for a panel, saying it had constructively engaged with Canada on this matter and responded to Canada's request for information. China has intercepted diseases, insects and weeds from canola seed from Canada for a long time and its concerns remain. WTO rules allow members to take measures necessary to protect human, animal or plant life or health, and China's measures, adopted and implemented in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner, are in full compliance with WTO rules, China said.
The DSB agreed to the establishment of the panel. The United States, Chinese Taipei, Singapore, Russia, Japan, India, the European Union, Brazil, Norway and Australia reserved their third party rights to participate in the proceedings. ■