WTO issues panel report regarding Chinese tariff rate quotas on agricultural imports

Summary of the dispute to date

The summary below was up-to-date at 18 April 2019 


Complaint by the United States

On 15 December 2016, the United States requested consultations with China concerning China’s administration of its tariff rate quotas, including those for wheat, short- and medium- grain rice, long grain rice, and corn.

The United States claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:

  • Articles X:3(a), XI:1 and XIII:3(b) of the GATT 1994; and 
  • Paragraph 1.2 of Part I of China’s Protocol of Accession (to the extent that it incorporates paragraph 116 of the Report of the Working Party on the Accession of China).

On 22 December 2016, Australia and the European Union requested to join the consultations. On 29 December 2016, Canada and Thailand requested to join the consultations.

Panel and Appellate Body proceedings

On 18 August 2017, the United States requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 31 August 2017, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.

At its meeting on 22 September 2017, the DSB established a panel. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, the European Union, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Norway, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Ukraine and Viet Nam reserved their third-party rights.

On 1 February 2018, the United States requested the Director-General to compose the panel. On 12 February 2018, the Director-General composed the panel.

On 9 August 2018, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that the panel estimated to issue its final report to the parties in the second quarter of 2019, in accordance with the timetable adopted after consultation with the parties. In its communication, the Chair also informed the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation would depend on completion of translation.

On 18 April 2019, the panel report was circulated to Members.