Thursday, November 28, 2013

More litigation practise

Talking about litigation practice, it seems Indonesia has filed another case. This time it is against Pakistan over anti-dumping measures taken by it against writing and printing paper from Indonesia. The case (DS470) is reported here.

Talking about WTO disputes, the big one this week was the Seals dispute between Norway and EU that I have  blogged about here earlier. 
The panel concluded that the IC exception under the EU Seal Regime violates Article I:1 of the GATT 1994 because an advantage granted by the European Union to seal products originating in Greenland (specifically, its Inuit population) is not accorded immediately and unconditionally to the like products originating in Norway. With respect to the MRM exception, the panel found that it violates Article III:4 of the GATT 1994 because it accords imported seal products treatment less favourable than that accorded to like domestic seal products. The panel also found that the IC exception and the MRM exception are not justified under Article XX(a) of the GATT 1994 (“necessary to protect public morals”) because they fail to meet the requirements under the chapeau of Article XX (“not applied in a manner that would constitute arbitrary or unjustified discrimination where the same conditions prevail or a disguised restriction on international trade”). The panel additionally found that the European Union failed to make a prima facie case that the EU Seal Regime is justified under Article XX(b) of the GATT 1994 (“necessary to protect … animal … life or health”).
Need to get down to reading the Panel report and commenting on it soon.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Strategic litigation at any cost?

I have blogged about the Tobacco Plain packaging case here, here and here. The dispute brings to the fore many aspects of dispute settlement at the WTO itself - like what is national interest, domestic policy space and international economic law, employment issues and trade as well as corporate interests and national positions.

This piece in the Jakarta Globe which gives a background on Indonesia's entry into the dispute  brought another angle to the dispute - strategic preparation in dispute settlement.
"For Indonesia, this is another opportunity for it to develop and enhance its understanding of how, when, and why to use the WTO dispute settlement system to further its own export interests. Indonesia started out by being a rather reluctant user of the system, when it was on the receiving end of complaints brought by several developed countries against its indigenous car program in 1996." 
 Is this another facet of strategic litigation at any cost at the WTO?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Do not de-industrialise too soon?

Dani Rodrik's piece in the Project Syndicate recently brought to light the delicate balance between the role of the manufacturing and services sector in an economy. Titled "The Perils of Premature De-industrialisation" it warns of a shift away from the manufacturing sector too soon and it's possible impact on developing countries.
"The economic, social, and political consequences of premature deindustrialization have yet to be analyzed in full. On the economic front, it is clear that early deindustrialization impedes growth and delays convergence with the advanced economies. Manufacturing industries are what I have called “escalator industries”: labor productivity in manufacturing has a tendency to converge to the frontier, even in economies where policies, institutions, and geography conspire to retard progress in other sectors of the economy. 
That is why rapid growth historically has always been associated with industrialization (except for a handful of small countries with large natural-resource endowments). Less room for industrialization will almost certainly mean fewer growth miracles in the future.
The social and political consequences are less fathomable, but could be equally momentous. Some of the building blocks of durable democracy have been byproducts of sustained industrialization: an organized labor movement, disciplined political parties, and political competition organized around a right-left axis."
An indication that manufacturing and services have to go together?