WTO Decisions and Their Effect in U.S. Law [Updated July 28, 2008]   [open pdf - 71KB]

From the Summary: "Congress has comprehensively dealt with the legal effect of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and dispute settlement results in the United States in the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), P.L. [Public Law] 103-465, which provides that domestic law prevails over conflicting provisions of WTO agreements and prohibits private remedies based on alleged violations of these agreements. As a result, WTO agreements and adopted WTO rulings in conflict with federal law do not have domestic legal effect unless and until Congress or the executive branch, as the case may be, takes action to modify or remove the statute, regulation, or regulatory action at issue. Violative state laws may be withdrawn by the state or, in rare circumstances, invalidated through legal action by the federal government. The URAA also contains requirements for agency compliance actions taken under existing statutory authorities. S. 364 (Rockefeller) would amend the URAA to require that Congress expressly approve any regulatory modification or final rule proposed to implement an adverse WTO ruling and would rescind certain regulatory actions that have already entered into effect. Both S. 364 and H.R. 708 (English) would establish a congressional advisory commission to review WTO decisions in light of enumerated statutory criteria. H.R. 2714 (Barrett) would require the President to delay or reverse implementation of adverse WTO decisions on the use of 'zeroing' in antidumping proceedings until the United States has negotiated certain WTO clarifications regarding the practice. H.R. 6530 (Rangel) provides that the Commerce Department's 2006 regulatory modification involving 'zeroing' issued in response to an adverse WTO decision would terminate as of March 1, 2009 (and the prior departmental practice would then apply), unless and until the department issued a revised methodology under procedures laid out in the bill. This report will be updated."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS22154
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