Source(s) of the information:

Lawyers, other representatives, expert(s), tribunal’s secretary

Report of the Panel

CASES CITED IN THIS REPORT

Short titleFull case title and citation
Argentina – Ceramic Tiles Panel Report, Argentina – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Ceramic Floor Tiles from Italy, WT/DS189/R, adopted 5 November 2001, DSR 2001:XII, p. 6241
Argentina – Footwear (EC) Appellate Body Report, Argentina – Safeguard Measures on Imports of Footwear, WT/DS121/AB/R, adopted 12 January 2000, DSR 2000:I, p. 515
Argentina – Poultry Anti‑Dumping Duties Panel Report, Argentina – Definitive Anti-Dumping Duties on Poultry from Brazil, WT/DS241/R, adopted 19 May 2003, DSR 2003:V, p. 1727
Argentina – Textiles and Apparel Panel Report, Argentina – Measures Affecting Imports of Footwear, Textiles, Apparel and Other Items, WT/DS56/R, adopted 22 April 1998, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS56/AB/R, DSR 1998:III, p. 1033
Australia – Apples Appellate Body Report, Australia – Measures Affecting the Importation of Apples from New Zealand, WT/DS367/AB/R, adopted 17 December 2010, DSR 2010:V, p. 2175
Brazil – Aircraft Appellate Body Report, Brazil – Export Financing Programme for Aircraft, WT/DS46/AB/R, adopted 20 August 1999, DSR 1999:III, p. 1161
Brazil – Desiccated Coconut Appellate Body Report, Brazil – Measures Affecting Desiccated Coconut, WT/DS22/AB/R, adopted 20 March 1997, DSR 1997:I, p. 167
Chile – Price Band System Appellate Body Report, Chile – Price Band System and Safeguard Measures Relating to Certain Agricultural Products, WT/DS207/AB/R, adopted 23 October 2002, DSR 2002:VIII, p. 3045 (Corr.1, DSR 2006:XII, p. 5473)
China – Autos (US) Panel Report, China – Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Automobiles from the United States, WT/DS440/R and Add.1, adopted 18 June 2014, DSR 2014:VII, p. 2655
China – Electronic Payment Services Panel Report, China – Certain Measures Affecting Electronic Payment Services, WT/DS413/R and Add.1, adopted 31 August 2012, DSR 2012:X, p. 5305
China – GOES Appellate Body Report, China – Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Duties on Grain Oriented Flat-Rolled Electrical Steel from the United States, WT/DS414/AB/R, adopted 16 November 2012, DSR 2012:XII, p. 6251
China – GOES (Article 21.5 – US) Panel Report, China – Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Duties on Grain Oriented Flat-Rolled Electrical Steel from the United States – Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the United States, WT/DS414/RW and Add.1, adopted 31 August 2015
China – HP-SSST (Japan) / China – HP-SSST (EU) Panel Reports, China – Measures Imposing Anti‑Dumping Duties on High-Performance Stainless Steel Seamless Tubes ("HP‑SSST") from Japan / China – Measures Imposing Anti-Dumping Duties on High-Performance Stainless Steel Seamless Tubes ("HP‑SSST") from the European Union, WT/DS454/R and Add.1 / WT/DS460/R, Add.1 and Corr.1, adopted 28 October 2015, as modified by Appellate Body Reports WT/DS454/AB/R / WT/DS460/AB/R
China – Raw Materials Appellate Body Reports, China – Measures Related to the Exportation of Various Raw Materials, WT/DS394/AB/R / WT/DS395/AB/R / WT/DS398/AB/R, adopted 22 February 2012, DSR 2012:VII, p. 3295
Dominican Republic – Import and Sale of Cigarettes Panel Report, Dominican Republic – Measures Affecting the Importation and Internal Sale of Cigarettes, WT/DS302/R, adopted 19 May 2005, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS302/AB/R, DSR 2005:XV, p. 7425
EC – Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products Panel Reports, European Communities – Measures Affecting the Approval and Marketing of Biotech Products, WT/DS291/R, Add.1 to Add.9 and Corr.1 / WT/DS292/R, Add.1 to Add.9 and Corr.1 / WT/DS293/R, Add.1 to Add.9 and Corr.1, adopted 21 November 2006, DSR 2006:III, p. 847
EC – Bananas III Appellate Body Report, European Communities – Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas, WT/DS27/AB/R, adopted 25 September 1997, DSR 1997:II, p. 591
EC – Bananas III (Article 21.5 – Ecuador II) / EC – Bananas III (Article 21.5 – US) Appellate Body Reports, European Communities – Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas – Second Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by Ecuador,WT/DS27/AB/RW2/ECU, adopted 11 December 2008, and Corr.1 / European Communities – Regime for the Importation, Sale and Distribution of Bananas – Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the United States, WT/DS27/AB/RW/USA and Corr.1, adopted 22 December 2008, DSR 2008:XVIII, p. 7165
EC – Bed Linen Panel Report, European Communities – Anti-Dumping Duties on Imports of Cotton-Type Bed Linen from India, WT/DS141/R, adopted 12 March 2001, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS141/AB/R, DSR 2001:VI, p. 2077
EC – Countervailing Measures on DRAM Chips Panel Report, European Communities – Countervailing Measures on Dynamic Random Access Memory Chips from Korea, WT/DS299/R, adopted 3 August 2005, DSR 2005:XVIII, p. 8671
EC – Fasteners (China) Appellate Body Report, European Communities – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Iron or Steel Fasteners from China, WT/DS397/AB/R, adopted 28 July 2011, DSR 2011:VII, p. 3995
EC – Fasteners (China) Panel Report, European Communities – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Iron or Steel Fasteners from China, WT/DS397/R and Corr.1, adopted 28 July 2011, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS397/AB/R, DSR 2011:VIII, p. 4289
EC – Hormones Appellate Body Report, EC Measures Concerning Meat and Meat Products (Hormones), WT/DS26/AB/R, WT/DS48/AB/R, adopted 13 February 1998, DSR 1998:I, p. 135
EC – IT Products Panel Reports, European Communities and its member States – Tariff Treatment of Certain Information Technology Products, WT/DS375/R / WT/DS376/R / WT/DS377/R, adopted 21 September 2010, DSR 2010:III, p. 933
EC – Salmon (Norway) Panel Report, European Communities – Anti-Dumping Measure on Farmed Salmon from Norway, WT/DS337/R, adopted 15 January 2008, and Corr.1, DSR 2008:I, p. 3
EC – Selected Customs Matters Appellate Body Report, European Communities – Selected Customs Matters, WT/DS315/AB/R, adopted 11 December 2006, DSR 2006:IX, p. 3791
EC – Tube or Pipe Fittings Appellate Body Report, European Communities – Anti-Dumping Duties on Malleable Cast Iron Tube or Pipe Fittings from Brazil, WT/DS219/AB/R, adopted 18 August 2003, DSR 2003:VI, p. 2613
EC – Tube or Pipe Fittings Panel Report, European Communities – Anti-Dumping Duties on Malleable Cast Iron Tube or Pipe Fittings from Brazil, WT/DS219/R, adopted 18 August 2003, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS219/AB/R, DSR 2003:VII, p. 2701
EC and certain member States – Large Civil Aircraft Appellate Body Report, European Communities and Certain Member States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft, WT/DS316/AB/R, adopted 1 June 2011, DSR 2011:I, p. 7
EC and certain member States – Large Civil Aircraft (Article 21.5 – US) Panel Report, European Communities and Certain Member States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft – Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the United States, WT/DS316/RW and Add.1, circulated to WTO Members 22 September 2016 [appealed by European Union 13 October 2016]
Egypt – Steel Rebar Panel Report, Egypt – Definitive Anti-Dumping Measures on Steel Rebar from Turkey, WT/DS211/R, adopted 1 October 2002, DSR 2002:VII, p. 2667
EU – Biodiesel (Argentina) Appellate Body Report, European Union – Anti-Dumping Measures on Biodiesel from Argentina, WT/DS473/AB/R and Add.1, adopted 26 October 2016
EU – Biodiesel (Argentina) Panel Report, European Union – Anti-Dumping Measures on Biodiesel from Argentina, WT/DS473/R and Add.1, adopted 26 October 2016, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS473/AB/R
EU – Fatty Alcohols (Indonesia) Panel Report, European Union – Anti-Dumping Measures on Imports of Certain Fatty Alcohols from Indonesia, WT/DS442/R and Add.1, circulated to WTO Members 16 December 2016 [appealed by Indonesia 10 February 2017]
EU – Footwear (China) Panel Report, European Union – Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Footwear from China, WT/DS405/R, adopted 22 February 2012, DSR 2012:IX, p. 4585
Guatemala – Cement I Appellate Body Report, Guatemala – Anti-Dumping Investigation Regarding Portland Cement from Mexico, WT/DS60/AB/R, adopted 25 November 1998, DSR 1998:IX, p. 3767
India – Additional Import Duties Panel Report, India – Additional and Extra-Additional Duties on Imports from the United States, WT/DS360/R, adopted 17 November 2008, as reversed by Appellate Body Report WT/DS360/AB/R, DSR 2008:XX, p. 8317
India – Patents (US) Appellate Body Report, India – Patent Protection for Pharmaceutical and Agricultural Chemical Products, WT/DS50/AB/R, adopted 16 January 1998, DSR 1998:I, p. 9
Indonesia – Autos Panel Report, Indonesia – Certain Measures Affecting the Automobile Industry, WT/DS54/R, WT/DS55/R, WT/DS59/R, WT/DS64/R, Corr.1 and Corr.2, adopted 23 July 1998, and Corr.3 and Corr.4, DSR 1998:VI, p. 2201
Japan – Alcoholic Beverages II Appellate Body Report, Japan – Taxes on Alcoholic Beverages, WT/DS8/AB/R, WT/DS10/AB/R, WT/DS11/AB/R, adopted 1 November 1996, DSR 1996:I, p. 97
Korea – Certain Paper Panel Report, Korea – Anti-Dumping Duties on Imports of Certain Paper from Indonesia, WT/DS312/R, adopted 28 November 2005, DSR 2005:XXII, p. 10637
Korea – Dairy Appellate Body Report, Korea – Definitive Safeguard Measure on Imports of Certain Dairy Products, WT/DS98/AB/R, adopted 12 January 2000, DSR 2000:I, p. 3
Mexico – Olive Oil Panel Report, Mexico – Definitive Countervailing Measures on Olive Oil from the European Communities, WT/DS341/R, adopted 21 October 2008, DSR 2008:IX, p. 3179
Mexico – Steel Pipes and Tubes Panel Report, Mexico – Anti-Dumping Duties on Steel Pipes and Tubes from Guatemala, WT/DS331/R, adopted 24 July 2007, DSR 2007:IV, p. 1207
Mexico – Taxes on Soft Drinks Appellate Body Report, Mexico – Tax Measures on Soft Drinks and Other Beverages, WT/DS308/AB/R, adopted 24 March 2006, DSR 2006:I, p. 3
Peru – Agricultural Products Appellate Body Report, Peru – Additional Duty on Imports of Certain Agricultural Products, WT/DS457/AB/R and Add.1, adopted 31 July 2015
Russia – Commercial Vehicles Panel Report, Russia – Anti-Dumping Duties on Light Commercial Vehicles from Germany and Italy, WT/DS479/R and Add.1, circulated to WTO Members 27 January 2017 [appealed by Russia 20 February 2017]
Russia – Tariff Treatment Panel Report, Russia – Tariff Treatment of Certain Agricultural and Manufacturing Products, WT/DS485/R, Corr.1, Corr.2, and Add.1, adopted 26 September 2016
Thailand – H-Beams Appellate Body Report, Thailand – Anti-Dumping Duties on Angles, Shapes and Sections of Iron or Non-Alloy Steel and H-Beams from Poland, WT/DS122/AB/R, adopted 5 April 2001, DSR 2001:VII, p. 2701
Thailand – H-Beams Panel Report, Thailand – Anti-Dumping Duties on Angles, Shapes and Sections of Iron or Non-Alloy Steel and H-Beams from Poland, WT/DS122/R, adopted 5 April 2001, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS122/AB/R, DSR 2001:VII, p. 2741
Turkey – Textiles Panel Report, Turkey – Restrictions on Imports of Textile and Clothing Products, WT/DS34/R, adopted 19 November 1999, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS34/AB/R, DSR 1999:VI, p. 2363
Ukraine – Passenger Cars Panel Report, Ukraine – Definitive Safeguard Measures on Certain Passenger Cars, WT/DS468/R and Add.1, adopted 20 July 2015
US – Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties (China) Appellate Body Report, United States – Definitive Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties on Certain Products from China, WT/DS379/AB/R, adopted 25 March 2011, DSR 2011:V, p. 2869
US – Carbon Steel Appellate Body Report, United States – Countervailing Duties on Certain Corrosion-Resistant Carbon Steel Flat Products from Germany, WT/DS213/AB/R and Corr.1, adopted 19 December 2002, DSR 2002:IX, p. 3779
US – Carbon Steel (India) Appellate Body Report, United States – Countervailing Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India, WT/DS436/AB/R, adopted 19 December 2014, DSR 2014:V, p. 1727
US – Carbon Steel (India) Panel Report, United States – Countervailing Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel Flat Products from India, WT/DS436/R and Add.1, adopted 19 December 2014, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS436/AB/R, DSR 2014:VI, p. 2189
US – Certain EC Products Appellate Body Report, United States – Import Measures on Certain Products from the European Communities, WT/DS165/AB/R, adopted 10 January 2001, DSR 2001:I, p. 373
US – Continued Zeroing Appellate Body Report, United States – Continued Existence and Application of Zeroing Methodology, WT/DS350/AB/R, adopted 19 February 2009, DSR 2009:III, p. 1291
US – Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Measures (China) Appellate Body Report, United States – Countervailing and Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Products from China, WT/DS449/AB/R and Corr.1, adopted 22 July 2014, DSR 2014:VIII, p. 3027
US – Countervailing Duty Investigation on DRAMS Appellate Body Report, United States – Countervailing Duty Investigation on Dynamic Random Access Memory Semiconductors (DRAMS) from Korea, WT/DS296/AB/R, adopted 20 July 2005, DSR 2005:XVI, p. 8131
US – Countervailing Measures (China) Appellate Body Report, United States – Countervailing Duty Measures on Certain Products from China, WT/DS437/AB/R, adopted 16 January 2015
US – DRAMS Panel Report, United States – Anti-Dumping Duty on Dynamic Random Access Memory Semiconductors (DRAMS) of One Megabit or Above from Korea, WT/DS99/R, adopted 19 March 1999, DSR 1999:II, p. 521
US – FSC Panel Report, United States – Tax Treatment for "Foreign Sales Corporations", WT/DS108/R, adopted 20 March 2000, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS108/AB/R, DSR 2000:IV, p. 1675
US – FSC (Article 21.5 – EC) Appellate Body Report, United States – Tax Treatment for "Foreign Sales Corporations" – Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the European Communities, WT/DS108/AB/RW, adopted 29 January 2002, DSR 2002:I, p. 55
US – FSC (Article 21.5 – EC) Panel Report, United States – Tax Treatment for "Foreign Sales Corporations"Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by the European Communities, WT/DS108/RW, adopted 29 January 2002, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS108/AB/RW, DSR 2002:I, p. 119
US – Gasoline Panel Report, United States – Standards for Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline, WT/DS2/R, adopted 20 May 1996, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS2/AB/R, DSR 1996:I, p. 29
US – Hot-Rolled Steel Appellate Body Report, United States – Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan, WT/DS184/AB/R, adopted 23 August 2001, DSR 2001:X, p. 4697
US – Hot-Rolled Steel Panel Report, United States – Anti-Dumping Measures on Certain Hot-Rolled Steel Products from Japan, WT/DS184/R, adopted 23 August 2001 modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS184/AB/R, DSR 2001:X, p. 4769
US – Lamb Appellate Body Report, United States – Safeguard Measures on Imports of Fresh, Chilled or Frozen Lamb Meat from New Zealand and Australia, WT/DS177/AB/R, WT/DS178/AB/R, adopted 16 May 2001, DSR 2001:IX, p. 4051
US – Large Civil Aircraft (2nd complaint) Appellate Body Report, United States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft (Second Complaint), WT/DS353/AB/R, adopted 23 March 2012, DSR 2012:I, p. 7
US – Large Civil Aircraft (2nd complaint) Panel Report, United States – Measures Affecting Trade in Large Civil Aircraft (Second Complaint), WT/DS353/R, adopted 23 March 2012, as modified by Appellate Body Report WT/DS353/AB/R, DSR 2012:II, p. 649
US – Line Pipe Appellate Body Report, United States – Definitive Safeguard Measures on Imports of Circular Welded Carbon Quality Line Pipe from Korea, WT/DS202/AB/R, adopted 8 March 2002, DSR 2002:IV, p. 1403
US – Oil Country Tubular Goods Sunset Reviews Appellate Body Report, United States – Sunset Reviews of Anti-Dumping Measures on Oil Country Tubular Goods from Argentina, WT/DS268/AB/R, adopted 17 December 2004, DSR 2004:VII, p. 3257
US – Poultry (China) Panel Report, United States – Certain Measures Affecting Imports of Poultry from China, WT/DS392/R, adopted 25 October 2010, DSR 2010:V, p. 1909
US – Softwood Lumber IV (Article 21.5 – Canada) Appellate Body Report, United States – Final Countervailing Duty Determination with Respect to Certain Softwood Lumber from Canada – Recourse by Canada to Article 21.5 of the DSU, WT/DS257/AB/RW, adopted 20 December 2005, DSR 2005:XXIII, p. 11357
US – Steel Safeguards Appellate Body Report, United States – Definitive Safeguard Measures on Imports of Certain Steel Products, WT/DS248/AB/R, WT/DS249/AB/R, WT/DS251/AB/R, WT/DS252/AB/R, WT/DS253/AB/R, WT/DS254/AB/R, WT/DS258/AB/R, WT/DS259/AB/R, adopted 10 December 2003, DSR 2003:VII, p. 3117
US – Tyres (China) Appellate Body Report, United States – Measures Affecting Imports of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tyres from China, WT/DS399/AB/R, adopted 5 October 2011, DSR 2011:IX, p. 4811
US – Tyres (China) Panel Report, United States – Measures Affecting Imports of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tyres from China, WT/DS399/R, adopted 5 October 2011, upheld by Appellate Body Report WT/DS399/AB/R, DSR 2011:IX, p. 4945
US – Wheat Gluten Appellate Body Report, United States – Definitive Safeguard Measures on Imports of Wheat Gluten from the European Communities, WT/DS166/AB/R, adopted 19 January 2001, DSR 2001:II, p. 717
US – Wool Shirts and Blouses Appellate Body Report, United States – Measure Affecting Imports of Woven Wool Shirts and Blouses from India, WT/DS33/AB/R, adopted 23 May 1997, and Corr.1, DSR 1997:I, p. 323
US – Wool Shirts and Blouses Panel Report, United States – Measure Affecting Imports of Woven Wool Shirts and Blouses from India, WT/DS33/R, adopted 23 May 1997, upheld by Appellate Body Report WT/DS33/AB/R, DSR 1997:I, p. 343
US – Zeroing (Japan) (Article 21.5 – Japan) Appellate Body Report, United States – Measures Relating to Zeroing and Sunset Reviews – Recourse to Article 21.5 of the DSU by Japan, WT/DS322/AB/RW, adopted 31 August 2009, DSR 2009:VIII, p. 3441

ABBREVIATIONS

AbbreviationDescription
Anti-Dumping Agreement Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994
BCI Business Confidential Information
CVD Countervailing duty
Definitive Determination Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 857/2010 of 27 September 2010 imposing a definitive countervailing duty and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate originating in Iran, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, Official Journal of the European Union, L Series, No. 254/10 (29 September 2010), (Exhibit PAK‑2)
DSB Dispute Settlement Body
DSU Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes
EU European Union
GATT 1994 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994
IP Investigation period
KIBOR Karachi Inter-Bank Offer Rate
LTF-EOP Long Term Financing of Export-Oriented Projects
MBS Manufacturing Bond Scheme
PET Polyethylene terephthalate
PKR Pakistani rupees
POI Period of investigation
Provisional Determination Commission Regulation (EU) No. 473/2010 of 31 May 2010 imposing a provisional countervailing duty on imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate originating in Iran, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates, Official Journal of the European Union, L Series, No. 134/25 (1 June 2010), (Exhibit PAK-1)
SBP State Bank of Pakistan
SCM Agreement Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures
Vienna Convention Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, Done at Vienna, 23 May 1969, 1155 UNTS 331; 8 International Legal Materials 679
WTO World Trade Organization

1 INTRODUCTION

1.1 COMPLAINT BY PAKISTAN

1.1.
On 28 October 2014, Pakistan requested consultations with the European Union pursuant to Article 4 of the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes (DSU), Article 30 of the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), and Article XXIII:1 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT 1994).1
1.2.
Consultations were held on 17 December 2014 but failed to resolve this dispute.

1.2 PANEL ESTABLISHMENT AND COMPOSITION

1.3.
On 12 February 2015, Pakistan requested the establishment of a panel pursuant to Article 6 of the DSU with standard terms of reference.2 At its meeting on 25 March 2015, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) established a panel pursuant to the request of Pakistan in document WT/DS486/3, in accordance with Article 6 of the DSU.3
1.4.
The Panel's terms of reference are the following:

To examine, in the light of the relevant provisions of the covered agreements cited by the parties to the dispute, the matter referred to the DSB by Pakistan in document WT/DS486/2 and to make such findings as will assist the DSB in making the recommendations or in giving the rulings provided for in those agreements.4

1.5.
On 13 May 2015, the parties agreed that the Panel would be composed as follows:

Chairperson: Mr William Davey

Members: Mr Michael Mulgrew

Mr Welber Barral

1.6.
The United States and China notified their interest in participating in the Panel proceedings as third parties.

1.3 PANEL PROCEEDINGS

1.3.1 General

1.7.
The Panel began its work on this case later than it would have wished due to staff constraints in the WTO Secretariat.5 After consultation with the parties, the Panel adopted its Working Procedures6 on 15 March 2016 and the timetable on 1 April 2016. The timetable was revised on 16 June 2016, 1 December 2016 and 20 March 2017.
1.8.
The Panel held a first substantive meeting with the parties on 21 and 22 September 2016. A session with the third parties took place on 22 September 2016. The Panel held a second substantive meeting with the parties on 29 and 30 November 2016. On 27 January 2017, the Panel issued the descriptive part of its Report to the parties. The Panel issued its Interim Report to the parties on 24 February 2017. The Panel issued its Final Report to the parties on 31 March 2017.

1.3.2 Working Procedures on Business Confidential Information (BCI)

1.9.
After consultation with the parties, the Panel adopted, on 14 April 2016, Additional Working Procedures Concerning Business Confidential Information (BCI).7

1.3.3 Request for a preliminary ruling

1.10.
On 3 March 2016, the European Union submitted to the Panel a request for a preliminary ruling. The Panel addresses the European Union's request for a preliminary ruling in its findings below.8

2 FACTUAL ASPECTS

2.1 THE MEASURES AT ISSUE

2.1.
This dispute concerns countervailing measures imposed by the European Union on imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate (PET) from Pakistan pursuant to the Council Implementing Regulation (EU) No. 857/2010 of 27 September 2010 imposing a definitive countervailing duty (CVD) and collecting definitively the provisional duty imposed on imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate originating in Iran, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (the Definitive Determination). The previously applicable provisional measure challenged by Pakistan had been imposed pursuant to Commission Regulation (EU) No. 473/2010 of 31 May 2010 imposing a provisional countervailing duty on imports of certain polyethylene terephthalate originating in Iran, Pakistan, and the United Arab Emirates (the Provisional Determination).

3 PARTIES' REQUESTS FOR FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1.
Pakistan requests that the Panel find that9:

a. With respect to the Manufacturing Bond Scheme (MBS), which the European Commission (the Commission) found to be a countervailable subsidy contingent on export performance, the Commission acted inconsistently with its obligations under:

i. Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement, because it improperly determined the existence of a financial contribution;

ii. Article 1.1(b) of the SCM Agreement, because it improperly analysed the existence of a benefit;

iii. Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement, because – given its incorrect interpretation and application of Article 1 – it incorrectly determined the existence of an export subsidy;

iv. Article 10 of the SCM Agreement, because it imposed a countervailing duty not in accordance with the provisions of Article VI of the GATT 1994 and the above‑mentioned terms of the SCM Agreement;

v. Article 32 of the SCM Agreement, because it took specific action against a subsidy not in accordance with the provisions of the GATT 1994, as interpreted by the SCM Agreement, in particular by the above-mentioned provisions;

vi. Article 19.1 of the SCM Agreement, because it made a final determination of the existence and amount of the subsidy and imposed a countervailing duty not in accordance with Article 19;

vii. Annex I(i) of the SCM Agreement by failing to properly determine the existence of an export subsidy within the meaning of that provision; and

viii. Article VI:3 of the GATT 1994, by levying a countervailing duty in excess of an amount equal to the estimated bounty or subsidy determined to have been granted, directly or indirectly, on the manufacture, production, or export of the product at issue.

If the Panel finds that the MBS falls under Annex II of the SCM Agreement, Pakistan also requests the Panel to find that the Commission acted inconsistently with:

i. The procedures under Annex II(II) as a whole;

ii. Annex II(II)(2), because it failed to ensure/provide for the opportunity that an investigation be carried out to determine the existence of an excess remission; and

iii. Annex II(II)(1), because it failed to examine the "generally accepted commercial principles" prevailing in Pakistan when examining the verification system and procedures under the MBS.

If the Panel finds that the MBS falls under Annex III of the SCM Agreement, Pakistan also requests the Panel to find that the Commission acted inconsistently with:

i. The procedures under Annex III(II) as a whole;

ii. Annex III(II)(3) because it failed to ensure/provide for the opportunity that an investigation be carried out to determine the existence of an excess remission; and

iii. Annex III(II)(2), because it failed to examine the "generally accepted commercial principles" prevailing in Pakistan when examining the verification system and procedures under the MBS.

b. With respect to the Long Term Financing of Export-Oriented Projects (LTF-EOP), which the Commission found to be a countervailable subsidy contingent on export performance, the Commission acted inconsistently with its obligations under:

i. Article 1.1(b) of the SCM Agreement by improperly analysing and determining the existence of benefit;

ii. The chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement, because the Commission failed to adequately explain the application of the method used by the investigating authority in calculating the benefit (which is provided for in the national legislation or implementing regulations) to the particular case at hand;

iii. Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement, because the Commission failed to properly calculate any benefit as the difference between the amount that the firm receiving the loan pays on the government loan and the amount the firm would pay on a comparable commercial loan which the firm could actually obtain on the market;

iv. Article 10 of the SCM Agreement, because it failed to impose a countervailing duty in accordance with the provisions of Article VI of GATT 1994 and the above-mentioned terms of the SCM Agreement;

v. Article 19.1 of the SCM Agreement, because it made a final determination of the existence and amount of the subsidy and imposed a countervailing duty not in accordance with Article 19 (benefit);

vi. Article 32 of the SCM Agreement, because it failed to take specific action against a subsidy in accordance with the provisions of GATT 1994, as interpreted by the SCM Agreement, in particular by the above-mentioned provisions; and

vii. Article VI:3 of the GATT 1994, by levying a countervailing duty in excess of an amount equal to the estimated bounty or subsidy determined to have been granted, directly or indirectly, on the manufacture, production, or export of the product at issue.

c. With respect to its non-attribution determinations, the Commission acted inconsistently with its obligations under Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.

d. With respect to its obligation to disclose the results of the verification visit to the exporting producer in Pakistan, the Commission acted inconsistently with its obligations under Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement.

3.2.
The European Union requests that the Panel reject Pakistan's claims in this dispute in their entirety.10

4 ARGUMENTS OF THE PARTIES

4.1.
The arguments of the parties are reflected in their executive summaries, provided to the Panel in accordance with paragraph 19 of the Working Procedures adopted by the Panel (see Annexes B-1 and B-2 and Annexes C-1 and C-2).

5 ARGUMENTS OF THE THIRD PARTIES

5.1.
The arguments of the China and the United States are reflected in their executive summaries, provided in accordance with paragraph 19 of the Working Procedures adopted by the Panel (see Annexes D-1 and D-2).

6 INTERIM REVIEW

6.1.
On 24 February 2017, the Panel issued its Interim Report to the parties. On 8 March 2017, the European Union communicated to the Panel that it had no substantial comments on the Panel's Interim Report. On 10 March 2017, Pakistan submitted a written request for the Panel to review aspects of the Interim Report. Neither party requested an interim review meeting. On 16 March 2017, the European Union submitted comments on Pakistan's requests for review.
6.2.
The parties' comments made at the interim review stage as well as the Panel's discussion and disposition of those requests are set out in Annex E-1.

7 FINDINGS

7.1.
This dispute concerns EU measures imposing CVDs on certain PET from Pakistan. Pakistan's claims proceed under various provisions of the SCM Agreement and the GATT 1994. The European Union requests that the Panel reject each of the claims presented by Pakistan. In the request for a preliminary ruling, the European Union also argued that the Panel should terminate its work in this dispute because the challenged measures have expired, and, in the alternative, that certain of Pakistan's claims were outside the Panel's terms of reference under the standards set forth in Article 6.2 of the DSU.
7.2.
We begin by examining the request for a preliminary ruling submitted by the European Union. Thereafter, we consider Pakistan's claims concerning the MBS, followed by Pakistan's claims concerning the LTF-EOP. We then consider Pakistan's claims under Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement, before turning to Pakistan's claim under Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement pertaining to the results of the verification visit. However, before proceeding to do so, we briefly recall the relevant general principles regarding treaty interpretation, the standard of review and the burden of proof in World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement proceedings, as laid down by the Appellate Body.

7.1 GENERAL PRINCIPLES REGARDING TREATY INTERPRETATION, THE APPLICABLE STANDARD OF REVIEW, AND BURDEN OF PROOF

7.1.1 Treaty interpretation

7.3.
Article 3.2 of the DSU provides that the dispute settlement system serves to clarify the existing provisions of the covered agreements "in accordance with customary rules of interpretation of public international law". It is generally accepted that the principles codified in Articles 31 and 32 of the Vienna Convention are such customary rules.11

7.1.2 Standard of review

7.4.
Panels generally are bound by the standard of review set forth in Article 11 of the DSU, which provides, in relevant part:

[A] panel should make an objective assessment of the matter before it, including an objective assessment of the facts of the case and the applicability of and conformity with the relevant covered agreements.12

7.5.
The Appellate Body has stated that the "objective assessment" to be made by a panel reviewing an investigating authority's determination is to be informed by an examination of whether the authority provided a reasoned and adequate explanation as to: (a) how the evidence on the record supported its factual findings; and (b) how those factual findings supported the overall determination.13
7.6.
The Appellate Body has also clarified that a panel reviewing an investigating authority's determination may not conduct a de novo review of the evidence or substitute its judgment for that of the investigating authority. At the same time, a panel must not simply defer to the conclusions of the investigating authority. A panel's examination of those conclusions must be "in‑depth" and "critical and searching".14
7.7.
A panel must limit its examination to the evidence that was before the agency during the course of the investigation and must take into account all such evidence submitted by the parties to the dispute.15 A panel's examination in that regard is not necessarily limited to the pieces of evidence expressly relied upon by an investigating authority in its establishment and evaluation of the facts in arriving at a particular conclusion.16 Rather, a panel may also take into consideration other pieces of evidence that were on the record and that are connected to the explanation provided by the investigating authority in its determination. This flows from the principle that investigating authorities are not required to cite or discuss every piece of supporting record evidence for each fact in the final determination.17 That notwithstanding, since a panel's review is not de novo, ex post rationalizations unconnected to the investigating authority's explanation – even when founded on record evidence – cannot form the basis of a panel's conclusion.18

7.1.3 Burden of proof

7.8.
The general principles applicable to the allocation of the burden of proof in WTO dispute settlement require that a party claiming a violation of a provision of a WTO Agreement must assert and prove its claim.19 Therefore, Pakistan bears the burden of demonstrating that the European Union's measures are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement. The Appellate Body has stated that a complaining party will satisfy its burden when it establishes a prima facie case, namely a case which, in the absence of effective refutation by the defending party, requires a panel, as a matter of law, to rule in favour of the complaining party.20 Finally, it is generally for each party asserting a fact to provide proof thereof.21

7.2 REQUEST FOR A PRELIMINARY RULING

7.2.1 Introduction

7.9.
On 3 March 2016, the European Union filed a request for a preliminary ruling. The request asked the Panel to: (a) cease all work on this dispute because the relevant EU CVD measures on certain PET from Pakistan terminated on 30 September 2015 (the Termination Request)22; and (b) if the Panel denied the Termination Request, find that certain of Pakistan's claims are outside the Panel's terms of reference under the standards set forth in Article 6.2 of the DSU.23 This Section addresses each subject in turn.

7.2.2 The Termination Request

7.2.2.1 Main arguments of the parties

7.10.
The European Union argues that the Panel should terminate its work in this dispute because the purpose of these proceedings has already been fulfilled, i.e. to secure the withdrawal of the challenged measures.24 The European Union cites Articles 3.4, 3.7, and 11 of the DSU for the proposition that the role of a panel is to make recommendations or rulings when these contribute to securing a positive solution to a dispute.25 The European Union asserts that because the challenged measures no longer exist, they have been "withdrawn" within the meaning of Article 3.7 of the DSU, and thus a positive solution has been secured.26 The European Union further argues that relevant WTO jurisprudence supports its position. As an additional justification for terminating this proceeding, the European Union refers to the backlog of cases in the WTO dispute settlement system, cases which could be more rapidly addressed if the Panel were to terminate this dispute.27
7.11.
Pakistan asks the Panel to reject the Termination Request because it "lacks any basis in the text of the DSU or the practice of panels and the Appellate Body".28 Pakistan asserts that, "[f]rom a strictly legal perspective … the core issue here is … that the measures were in force on the date on which the panel was established. In these circumstances, the Panel must rule on Pakistan's claims".29 According to Pakistan, the Appellate Body has explained that the expiry of a measure does not limit a panel's jurisdiction to issue findings regarding that measure and a panel cannot decline to rule on the entirety of the claims over which it has jurisdiction.30 Pakistan notes that many GATT and WTO panels have made findings with respect to expired measures, and that no panel has declined to exercise its jurisdiction over a measure that expired after the panel's establishment and where the complainant asked the panel to issue findings regarding that measure.

7.2.2.2 Evaluation by the Panel

7.12.
On 19 May 2016, the Panel sent a communication to the parties denying the Termination Request and indicating that "[t]he Panel will provide the reasons for its decision in due course. This preliminary ruling, and the reasons for it, will form an integral part of the Panel's final report."31 The Panel provides its reasons for denying the Termination Request here.
7.13.
The challenged measures in this dispute are CVDs on certain PET from Pakistan imposed pursuant to the Definitive Determination. The legal effect of the Definitive Determination vis-à-vis certain PET from Pakistan expired on 30 September 2015, at which time the associated CVDs on certain PET from Pakistan were removed.32 The challenged measures have thus expired and ceased to have legal effect.33 WTO panel and Appellate Body jurisprudence indicates that panels have discretion regarding whether to make findings regarding such expired measures.34 We have not identified any reason to depart from this current of jurisprudence. We therefore have discretion as to whether to make findings with respect to the challenged measures in this dispute. In deciding how to exercise our discretion, we note certain other circumstances surrounding this dispute. First, and in particular, the challenged measures expired onlyafter panel establishment.35 Second, the complainant has continued to request that we make findings with respect to the expired measures.36 Third, we consider it a reasonable possibility that the European Union could impose CVDs on Pakistani goods in a manner that may give rise to certain of the same, or materially similar, WTO inconsistencies that are alleged in this dispute.37 In particular, we note that Pakistan claims, not contested by the European Union, that a wide range of Pakistani exports benefit from the MBS38 and that the parties dispute, on a fundamental level, how investigating authorities should determine the extent to which duty drawback schemes like the MBS may constitute countervailable subsidies within the meaning of the SCM Agreement. Given such circumstances, we proceed with this dispute.39

7.2.3 Article 6.2 of the DSU

7.14.
The European Union's request for a preliminary ruling also asked us to find that certain of Pakistan's claims are outside our terms of reference under the standards set forth in Article 6.2 of the DSU. The European Union raised additional objections under Article 6.2 in subsequent submissions. This Section addresses those objections. It proceeds in three parts. First, it examines relevant legal considerations. Second, it notes certain EU objections under Article 6.2 of the DSU that have become moot. Third, it examines the European Union's remaining objections under Article 6.2 of the DSU.

7.2.3.1 Relevant legal considerations

7.15.
Article 6.2 of DSU provides, in relevant part:

The request for the establishment of a panel shall be made in writing. It shall indicate whether consultations were held, identify the specific measures at issue and provide a brief summary of the legal basis of the complaint sufficient to present the problem clearly.

7.16.
Identifying the measure(s) at issue and briefly summarizing the legal basis of the complaint so as to present the problem clearly are central to the establishment of a panel's jurisdiction.40 The panel request also serves a due process function, providing the respondent and third parties notice as to the nature of the complainant's case41, enabling them to respond accordingly.42 A panel must therefore determine whether the panel request, read as a whole and as it existed at the time of filing43, is "sufficiently clear" or "sufficiently precise" on the basis of an "objective examination".44
7.17.
In order to "provide a brief summary of the legal basis of the complaint sufficient to present the problem clearly", the panel request must set out the claims so as to "present the problem clearly".45 A "claim" in this context is an allegation "that the respondent party has violated, or nullified or impaired the benefits arising from, an identified provision of a particular agreement".46 Further, "the narrative" of panel requests should "explain succinctly how or why the measure at issue is considered by the complaining Member to be violating the WTO obligation in question".47 Moreover, a panel request must "plainly connect the challenged measure(s) with the provision(s) of the covered agreements claimed to have been infringed".48 "[T]o the extent that a provision contains not one single, distinct obligation, but rather multiple obligations, a panel request might need to specify which of the obligations contained in the provision is being challenged."49 "Whether such a brief summary is 'sufficient to present the problem clearly' is to be assessed on a case‑by‑case basis, keeping in mind the nature of the measure(s) at issue, and the manner in which it is (or they are) described in the panel request, as well as the nature and scope of the provision(s) of the covered agreements alleged to have been violated."50

7.2.3.2 Moot objections

7.18.
During the course of this proceeding, the following objections raised by the European Union under Article 6.2 of the DSU have become moot:

a. The objections to claims regarding: (i) certain EU "practices" or "methodologies"51; (ii) the European Union's imposition of provisional CVDs52; (iii) the Commission's "allocation of the amount of the subsidy" with respect to the LTF-EOP programme53; and (iv) the Commission's conduct during verification visits.54 Pakistan does not pursue these claims in this dispute.55

b. The objection to the claim that the Commission failed to explain adequately the application of its method to calculate the benefit conferred by the LTF-EOP programme. The European Union has withdrawn this objection.56

c. Certain other objections relating to claims that we do not address for other reasons described herein.57

7.2.3.3 Remaining objections

7.2.3.3.1 Annex II(II)(1) and/or Annex III(II)(2) of the SCM Agreement

7.19.
Pakistan's first written submission claimed, inter alia, that the Commission acted inconsistently with Annex II(II)(1) and/or Annex III(II)(2) of the SCM Agreement "because it failed to examine the 'generally accepted commercial [practices]' prevailing in Pakistan when examining the verification system and procedures under the MBS".58 The European Union argues that the panel request failed to present this problem clearly.59 The panel request, in relevant part, provides:

· The EU determined that the "Manufacturing Bond Scheme" (MBS) is a countervailable subsidy that is contingent upon export performance. This determination appears to be inconsistent with Articles 1 and 3, and Annexes I, II, and III of the SCM Agreement,as well as Article VI of the GATT 1994. In particular:

o the EU appears to have acted inconsistently with Articles 1.1(a)(1)(i), 1.1(a)(1)(ii), and 3.1(a) and Annexes I(h), I(i), II(I)(1)-(2), II(II)(1)-(2), III(I), and III(II)(1)-(3) of the SCM Agreement, as well as Article VI of the GATT 1994, by determining that the MBS constituted a remission or drawback of import charges in excess of those levied on imported inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product; and

o the EU appears to have acted inconsistently with Articles 1.1(a)(1)(i), 1.1(a)(1)(ii), and 3.1(a) and Annexes I(h), I(i), II(I)(1)-(2), II(II)(1)-(2), III(I), and III(II)(1)-(3) of the SCM Agreement, as well as Article VI of the GATT 1994, by determining that the entirety of the duty refunds under the MBS scheme – rather than just the excess portion of these refunds – constituted an export subsidy.60

7.20.
Pakistan thus presents its MBS claims in two bullet points that reference identical provisions of the SCM Agreement and the GATT 1994 but offer different narratives as to why the Commission acted inconsistently with the provisions. For present purposes, we assume that both narratives are relevant as our resolution of the European Union's objection is the same under both.
7.21.
Annex II(II)(1) and Annex III(II)(2) of the SCM Agreement both refer to the obligation that Pakistan alleges the Commission failed to fulfil in this context, i.e. to examine "generally accepted commercial practices in the country of export" under certain relevant circumstances. The panel request includes these provisions in its references to "Annexes … II(II)(1)-(2) … and III(II)(1)-(3) of the SCM Agreement". But Annex II(II)(1) and Annex III(II)(2), in our view, contain multiple obligations.61 Moreover, the panel request cites additional provisions of the SCM Agreement, including additional provisions of Annexes II and III, and the GATT 1994. Such additional provisions contain their own disciplines, and the nature and scope of such provisions differ significantly.62 In the face of such complexity, we look to the panel request's narratives to clarify the problem being presented. The commercial-practices issue, however, appears nowhere in the narratives. Rather, the narratives present problems focused on the extent to which the Commission found import-duty remissions obtained under the MBS to be "excess". We find no reasonable way in which such narratives can be read as isolating the commercial-practices issue from the content of the numerous provisions cited in the panel request. Read as a whole, therefore, the panel request does not "provide a brief summary of the legal basis of the complaint sufficient to present the [commercial‑practices] problem clearly".63
7.22.
For these reasons, we find that Pakistan's claim that the Commission acted inconsistently with Annex II(II)(1) and/or Annex III(II)(2) of the SCM Agreement "because it failed to examine the 'generally accepted commercial [practices]' prevailing in Pakistan when examining the verification system and procedures under the MBS" is outside our terms of reference.

7.2.3.3.2 Article 1.1(a)(1) of the SCM Agreement

7.23.
The European Union argues that "by omitting provisions in the SCM Agreement directly addressing the issue of the calculation of benefit or the amount of subsidisation (such as Articles 14 or 19.4), Pakistan failed to present the problem clearly as required by Article 6.2 of the DSU."64 This is so because, from the European Union's perspective, the only relevant narrated claim is contained in the second sub-bullet, i.e. that the Commission "determin[ed] that the entirety of the duty refunds under the MBS scheme – rather than just the excess portion of these refunds – constituted an export subsidy". In the European Union's view, under the circumstances presented in this dispute, this narrative logically goes to the calculation of the benefit, rather than, for example, how the Commission determined the existence of a financial contribution under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii).65
7.24.
Article 6.2 does not require that all provisions of WTO agreements be cited that may have been violated in light of described conduct of a respondent. Thus, insofar as the European Union argues that the referenced narrative describes a problem that relates to additional provisions of the SCM Agreement, we reject the European Union's objection as raising a problem with which Article 6.2 is unconcerned. Insofar as the European Union argues that the panel request is unclear because the narrative describes a problem that does not meaningfully relate to the cited provisions, especially Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii)66, we also reject the European Union's objection. Indeed, even the European Union has expressly stated that it clearly understood the problem that the panel request presented in this context at least with respect to Articles 1.1(a)(1) and 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement.67 The European Union's objection is, rather, that the legal obligations contained in the cited provisions do not discipline the described conduct. Viewed as such, the European Union essentially asks us to resolve the merits of Pakistan's claim in a preliminary ruling. In our view, the panel request presents the problem clearly, and the issue of whether the conduct described by Pakistan violates the provisions it cites goes to the merits of the case and not to the issue of whether we have jurisdiction to reach the merits.68

7.2.3.3.3 Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement

7.25.
Pakistan's panel request contained, inter alia, a claim that the Commission acted inconsistently with "Articles 12.6 and 12.8 of the SCM Agreement by failing to provide the Pakistani exporter with the results of the EU's verification visits to that exporter and by failing to inform all interested parties of the essential facts under consideration."69 Pakistan does not pursue a claim under Article 12.8 that the Commission failed to disclose the essential facts of the investigation in this dispute. Thus, the relevant language in the panel request is limited to a claim that the Commission violated Article 12.6 because it failed "to provide the Pakistani exporter with the results of the EU's verification visits to that exporter".
7.26.
The European Union argues that the panel request failed to present the problem clearly for two reasons. First, the European Union observes that Article 12.6 provides two alternatives for investigating authorities in this context, i.e. "the authorities shall make the results of any such investigations available or shall provide disclosure thereof pursuant to paragraph 8".70 The European Union explains that during the investigation the Commission did not avail itself of the first alternative, but rather performed the actions described in the second alternative. Therefore, the panel request should have, but did not, specifically mention a failure to comply with the second alternative.71 Second, the European Union argues that the panel request should have specified, but did not, what "results" of the verification visit in question were not disclosed.72
7.27.
We reject both arguments. Regarding the first, we observe that (as explained in more detail further below in this Report73) Article 12.6 describes two approaches to satisfy the same obligation in this context, i.e. the provision of the "results" of verification visits "to the firms to which they pertain". The language in the panel request, i.e. the Commission's failure "to provide the Pakistani exporter with the results of the EU's verification visits to that exporter", matches the language of neither approach, nor does it appear to materially resemble one more than the other. We therefore do not consider that the panel request only claims that the Commission failed to properly use one such approach. Rather, the panel request describes a failure to satisfy the obligation contained in both and thus a failure to comply with either. The panel request therefore clearly presents the problem, i.e. a failure to provide the results of verification visits which is precisely what Article 12.6, in relevant part, demands.
7.28.
We thus turn to the European Union's second argument. In this context, we observe that a claim regarding the failure to provide "results" of verification visits logically depends, of course, on certain "results" not being provided. All that is necessary under Article 6.2 of the DSU, however, is a clear, succinct claim explaining how or why the measure at issue is considered by the complaining Member to be violating the WTO obligation in question. This is what Pakistan did. From the panel request it is clear that Pakistan claims that the Commission failed to provide the Pakistani exporter with the results of the Commission's verification visits to that exporter. Article 12.6, which the panel request cites, contains the obligation to do precisely this. We further note that, in this context, Article 12.6 contains a relatively specific obligation pertaining to a particular body of information relating to a specific event, as opposed to a provision broad in scope that applies on "a continuous basis throughout an investigation".74 In light of these considerations, the European Union asks for a level of detail in the panel request that is not required.75

7.3 CLAIMS REGARDING THE MBS

7.3.1 Introduction

7.29.
Pakistan's MBS permits licensed companies to import duty-free production input materials if such materials are consumed in the production of a product that is subsequently exported. Under the MBS, when a licensed company imports inputs, it posts securities in the amount of import duties due on those inputs.76 Pakistan remits the security to that company upon export of the company's products if the company presents documents indicating that inputs for which remissions are requested were used in its production of the exports. Systems like the MBS (i.e. systems allowing domestic producers to obtain reductions on duties paid on production inputs if they are consumed in the production of exports) are commonly referred to as duty drawback schemes.77
7.30.
A Pakistani PET producer and exporter named Novatex used the MBS to obtain remissions of import duties on imported PET production inputs. The Commission considered that all duties remitted to Novatex78 – "rather than any purported excess remission"79 – constituted a countervailable subsidy, contingent on export performance, in the form of revenue forgone otherwise due that conferred a benefit to Novatex. The Commission considered that it was appropriate to countervail all remissions, rather than excess remissions, essentially because Pakistan lacked a reliable system to confirm what inputs Novatex used in producing its exported PET and because Pakistan conducted no further examination regarding that issue.

7.3.2 Main arguments of the parties

7.31.
Pakistan argues that the Commission improperly found the existence of a "financial contribution" in this context, i.e. "government revenue that is otherwise due [but] forgone" within the meaning of Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement, resulting in an improper subsidy determination.80 Pakistan asserts that, with respect to duty drawback schemes like the MBS, footnote 1 of the SCM Agreement states a rule that a "financial contribution" for purposes of Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) is limited to excess remissions.81 Pakistan notes that footnote 1 indicates that it is "[i]n accordance with the provisions of Article XVI of GATT 1994 (Note to Article XVI) and the provisions of Annexes I through III of this Agreement". Pakistan argues that the meaning of "[i]n accordance with" in this context means that the referenced provisions reflect the same rule as footnote 1 does.82 Pakistan argues that the text of these provisions supports Pakistan's position. In particular, Pakistan argues that, contrary to the European Union's argument, neither Annex II nor Annex III provide any basis for departing from the rule stated in footnote 1, but rather confirm its validity.83 Thus, by finding that all remitted duties, rather than excess remissions, constituted a financial contribution and thus the countervailable subsidy, the Commission violated, inter alia, Articles 1.1(a)(1)(ii) and 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement.
7.32.
The European Union first asserts that it is evident from the record of the investigation and Pakistan's submissions in this dispute that Novatex received excess remissions under the MBS. Thus, the Commission properly found a financial contribution to exist in the investigation in the form of revenue forgone otherwise due.84 Pakistan, therefore, logically only challenges the amount of the subsidy found in the investigation. A subsidy's amountis determined by measuring the "benefit" conferred. Because Pakistan raises no claim under, for example, Articles 1.1(b), 14, and/or 19.4 of the SCM Agreement, which address the concept of benefit and/or amount of the subsidy, Pakistan's MBS claims are without a proper legal basis and the Panel must reject them. The European Union further argues that footnote 1 and Annexes I-III of the SCM Agreement contain no requirement that investigating authorities, with respect to duty drawback schemes, always equate excess remissions and the subsidy's amount. The European Union agrees with Pakistan that footnote 1 does describe a subsidy in terms of excess remissions, but the European Union further observes that footnote 1 states that it must be read "[i]n accordance with", inter alia, Annexes II and III. If conditions described in Annexes II and III are unsatisfied, therefore, footnote 1 no longer can be interpreted to mean that a subsidy in this context can only exist by reason of excess remissions.85 According to the European Union, the condition relevant to this dispute is that Pakistan either have a reliable verification system to confirm what inputs Novatex used in producing its exported PET or conduct a further examination regarding that issue. Because that condition was unsatisfied in the underlying investigation, the Commission was free to apply other principles to calculate the amount of the countervailable subsidy.86 The European Union argues that this result is supported by policy considerations. In particular, in the absence of effective verification systems or further examinations by the exporting Member, investigating authorities would have to rely on unverifiable information from companies to calculate excess remissions, inviting abuse of duty drawback schemes by companies.87

7.3.3 Evaluation by the Panel

7.33.
This Section proceeds in two parts. First, it examines Pakistan's claim under Article 1 of the SCM Agreement. Second, it addresses Pakistan's claims under other provisions of the SCM Agreement and the GATT 1994.

7.3.3.1 Article 1

7.34.
This Section examines Pakistan's claim under Article 1 of the SCM Agreement. It proceeds in three parts. First, it interprets the relevant legal standard under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement. Second, it applies that legal standard to the Commission's subsidy determination vis-à-vis the MBS. Finally, it concludes.

7.3.3.1.1 Legal standard under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii)

7.35.
Article 1 of the SCM Agreement provides, in relevant part:

1.1 For the purpose of this Agreement, a subsidy shall be deemed to exist if:

(a)(1) there is a financial contribution by a government or any public body within the territory of a Member (referred to in this Agreement as "government"), i.e. where:

(ii) government revenue that is otherwise due is foregone or not collected (e.g. fiscal incentives such as tax credits)[*];

[*fn original]1 In accordance with the provisions of Article XVI of GATT 1994 (Note to Article XVI) and the provisions of Annexes I through III of this Agreement, the exemption of an exported product from duties or taxes borne by the like product when destined for domestic consumption, or the remission of such duties or taxes in amounts not in excess of those which have accrued, shall not be deemed to be a subsidy.

7.36.
Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) requires a "comparison" "between the challenged measure and a 'defined, normative benchmark'".88 "The purpose of this comparison is to distinguish between situations where revenue forgone is 'otherwise due' and situations where such revenue is not 'otherwise due'."89 Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) is silent regarding what two things should be compared to determine whether import duty remissions obtained by a company under a duty drawback scheme like the MBS constitute revenue forgone otherwise due. Footnote 1, however, attaches to this provision, and contains crucial guidance90 on this score. Footnote 1 consists of one sentence with two basic parts. The first identifies legal provisions that the remainder of the sentence are "[i]n accordance with". The second identifies two situations, i.e. (a) the "exemption of an exported product from duties or taxes borne by the like product when destined for domestic consumption"; or (b) "the remission of such duties or taxes in amounts not in excess of those which have accrued", that "shall not be deemed to be a subsidy". Attaching footnote 1, which refers to a "subsidy", to Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii), which defines a "financial contribution" (i.e. a part of a subsidy) in terms of revenue forgone otherwise due, indicates that it should be interpreted vis-à-vis that article, and is further an implicit recognition of the close relationship between the concepts of revenue forgone otherwise due and a subsidy.91 That is, as panels have observed, where "financial contributions" exist in the form of revenue forgone otherwise due, a finding of a "benefit" – and hence a "subsidy" – readily follows.92
7.37.
The language "shallnot be deemed to be a subsidy" in footnote 1 indicates that, in the absence of further qualification, the two situations described are never subsidies under Article 1. Of the two, the latter appears the more material and contains the terms at which the parties direct their arguments, i.e. "the remission of such duties or taxes in amounts not in excess of those which have accrued".93 The parties appear to agree, and we see no reason to doubt, that the "duties" that "accrued" in this context are import duties that accrued on imported inputs consumed in the production of a subsequently exported product.94 Thus, the comparison under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) is between remissionsof duties obtained by a company under a duty drawback scheme, on the one hand, and duties thataccrued on imported production inputs used by that company to produce a subsequently exported product, on the other hand. A subsidy exists insofar as the former exceeds the latter, i.e. an "excess" remission occurs representing revenue forgone otherwise due. For ease of reference, this Report refers to this as the Excess Remissions Principle.
7.38.
The issue thus becomes whether situations exist where the Excess Remissions Principle should not be used to analyse remissions obtained under duty drawback schemes. The European Union asserts that the first part of footnote 1 prescribes such a situation through its explanation that footnote 1 is "[i]n accordance with … Annexes I through III". More specifically, the European Union argues that Annex II(II)(2) and/or Annex III(II)(3) describe certain circumstances in which the Excess Remissions Principle is inapplicable. In evaluating this issue, we examine the language of footnote 1 and the provisions cited therein.

7.3.3.1.1.1 Footnote 1 and the term "[i]n accordance with"

7.39.
The first part of footnote 1 reads: "In accordance with the provisions of Article XVI of GATT 1994 (Note to Article XVI) and the provisions of Annexes I through III of this Agreement". The word "accordance" means "[a]greement; conformity; harmony".95 Thus, the Excess Remissions Principle is "in agreement with", "in conformity with" and/or "in harmony with" the cited provisions. The footnote refers to these provisions equally, suggesting that the Excess Remissions Principle is equally in agreement with each.
7.40.
We consider the European Union's argument to be in tension with the language in footnote 1.96 Indeed, it appears incongruous to say that a principle is in agreement with a provision when the provision potentially eliminates the principle. Moreover, we find no other instance in which the SCM Agreement uses the term "in accordance with", on its own, to create an exception to an otherwise stated rule by cross-referencing another provision.97 We nonetheless consider the possibility that the term "in accordance with" signals that the Excess Remissions Principle only applies insofar as the cited provisions "agree" that it should, such that the provisions limit its application. We examine the cited provisions (i.e. Article XVI of GATT 1994 (Note to Article XVI), and Annexes I-III of the SCM Agreement) in turn to assess this possibility.98

7.3.3.1.1.2 Article XVI of GATT 1994 (Note to Article XVI)

7.41.
Article XVI of GATT 1994 contains the original GATT disciplines on subsidies. The Note to Article XVI reads:

The exemption of an exported product from duties or taxes borne by the like product when destined for domestic consumption, or the remission of such duties or taxes in amounts not in excess of those which have accrued, shall not be deemed to be a subsidy.

7.42.
This is the predecessor of footnote 1 of the SCM Agreement. Because Article XVI of the GATT 1994 applies together with the SCM Agreement to discipline subsidies, we impart some weight to this provision.99 We therefore note that it states the Excess Remissions Principle vis-à-vis GATT subsidy disciplines without qualification.

7.3.3.1.1.3 Annex I

7.43.
Annex I is the Illustrative List of Export Subsidies. The examples listed therein describe "subsidies" within the meaning of Article 1 of the SCM Agreement that are, additionally, prohibited under Article 3. Parts (g), (h), and (i) address situations that resemble the situations described in the second part of footnote 1 of the SCM Agreement in that they describe situations involving remissions of taxes or import duties. Under all these provisions, remissions are "subsidies" only if they are excess. Moreover, one of these provisions, Annex I(i), specifically addresses situations involving import duty drawbacks of the type at issue in this dispute100:

The remission or drawback of import charges in excess of those levied on imported inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product (making normal allowance for waste); provided, however, that in particular cases a firm may use a quantity of home market inputs equal to, and having the same quality and characteristics as, the imported inputs as a substitute for them in order to benefit from this provision if the import and the corresponding export operations both occur within a reasonable time period, not to exceed two years. This item shall be interpreted in accordance with the guidelines on consumption of inputs in the production process contained in Annex II and the guidelines in the determination of substitution drawback systems as export subsidies contained in Annex III.101

7.44.
Annex I(i) therefore restates the Excess Remissions Principle.102

7.3.3.1.1.4 Annex II

7.45.
Annex II is entitled "Guidelines on Consumption of Inputs in the Production Process". As described below, the Annex applies to duty drawback schemes like the MBS.103 It has two parts, i.e. Annex II(I) and II(II), which we address in turn.
7.46.
Annex II(I) provides:

I

1. Indirect tax rebate schemes can allow for exemption, remission or deferral of prior‑stage cumulative indirect taxes levied on inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product (making normal allowance for waste). Similarly, drawback schemes can allow for the remission or drawback of import charges levied on inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product (making normal allowance for waste).

2. The Illustrative List of Export Subsidies in Annex I of this Agreement makes reference to the term "inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product" in paragraphs (h) and (i). Pursuant to paragraph (h), indirect tax rebate schemes can constitute an export subsidy to the extent that they result in exemption, remission or deferral of prior‑stage cumulative indirect taxes in excess of the amount of such taxes actually levied on inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product. Pursuant to paragraph (i), drawback schemes can constitute an export subsidy to the extent that they result in a remission or drawback of import charges in excess of those actually levied on inputs that are consumed in the production of the exported product. Both paragraphs stipulate that normal allowance for waste must be made in findings regarding consumption of inputs in the production of the exported product. Paragraph (i) also provides for substitution, where appropriate.104

7.47.
Annex II(I) states facts and associated principles. Paragraph 1, inter alia, acknowledges the existence of, and describes, duty drawback schemes. Paragraph 2, in most relevant part, recalls circumstances under which Annex I(i) considers such schemes subsidies, i.e. when remissions obtained under them are excess. The paragraph neither states nor suggests other circumstances in which remissions under drawback schemes may be subsidies, and contains no language restricting the application of the Excess Remissions Principle in any relevant way. We take special note that Annex II(I) is placed at the beginning of Annex II. This indicates that Annex II(I) is context for interpreting Annex II(II), and, more specifically, that Annex II(I) indicates that the scope of the second part of the Annex is limited to the context of determining whether remissions under a drawback system constitute a subsidy by reason of them being excess. With these observations in mind, we turn to examine Annex II(II).
7.48.
Annex II(II) provides:

II

In examining whether inputs are consumed in the production of the exported product, as part of a countervailing duty investigation pursuant to this Agreement,investigating authorities should proceed on the following basis:

1. Where it is alleged that an indirect tax rebate scheme, or a drawback scheme, conveys a subsidy by reason of over‑rebate or excess drawback of indirect taxes or import charges on inputs consumed in the production of the exported product, the investigating authorities should first determine whether the government of the exporting Member has in place and applies a system or procedure to confirm which inputs are consumed in the production of the exported product and in what amounts. Where such a system or procedure is determined to be applied, the investigating authorities should then examine the system or procedure to see whether it is reasonable, effective for the purpose intended, and based on generally accepted commercial practices in the country of export. The investigating authorities may deem it necessary to carry out, in accordance with paragraph 6 of Article 12, certain practical tests in order to verify information or to satisfy themselves that the system or procedure is being effectively applied.

2. Where there is no such system or procedure, where it is not reasonable, or where it is instituted and considered reasonable but is found not to be applied or not to be applied effectively, a further examination by the exporting Member based on the actual inputs involved would need to be carried out in the context of determining whether an excess payment occurred. If the investigating authorities deemed it necessary, a further examination would be carried out in accordance with paragraph 1.105

7.49.
Annex II(II) provides guidance for investigating authorities. Its introduction describes the issue at which this guidance is directed, i.e. how to determine "whether inputs are consumed in the production of the exported product". This is an intermediate, but necessary, factual issue to address when determining whether excess payments occurred under a drawback scheme.106
7.50.
Annex II(II)(1) indicates that investigating authorities should essentially: (a) determine whether the exporting Member has a system for tracking what inputs were consumed in the production of a relevant exported product; and (b) if such a system exists, evaluate its reliability. This guidance only applies, however, "[w]here it is alleged that … a drawback scheme, conveys a subsidy by reason of … excess drawback". This language appears to assume that the only relevant allegation underlying the inquiry as to whether a drawback scheme conveys a subsidy is that it resulted in excess remissions. In other words, it assumes the operation of the Excess Remissions Principle. If it were permissible to label all drawn back duties as a countervailable subsidy, whether excess or not, we would expect allowance for an allegation to that effect. Indeed, we would consider it odd if the very guidance that could lead to the non-application of the Excess Remissions Principle could only be triggered by an allegation assuming its application.
7.51.
Annex II(II)(2) addresses the situation in which, pursuant to the inquiries performed under Annex II(II)(1), it is determined that the exporting Member has no reliable system of tracking inputs consumed in the production of a relevant exported product. In this scenario, "a further examination by the exporting Member based on the actual inputs involved would need to be carried out in the context of determining whether an excess payment occurred."107 We first note that this provision operates "in the context of determining whether an excess payment occurred", which reinforces the idea that Annex II is focused on identifying excess remissions. Annex II(II)(2), however, does not indicate what happens if the "further examination" that "would need to be carried out" is not performed. In the European Union's view, this silence means that the Excess Remissions Principle ceases to apply, and different principles apply such that an investigating authority – like the Commission in this investigation – may find that the entire sum of drawn back duties, rather than excess, is a countervailable subsidy.
7.52.
We must disagree. We have found nothing in footnote 1, Article XVI of GATT 1994 (Note to Article XVI), Annex I, or Annex II that materially suggests that the Excess Remissions Principle, as stated in footnote 1, is anything but the final word in how remissions under duty drawback schemes like the MBS are to be identified as subsidies. We agree that Annex II provides incomplete guidance as to how to investigate a particular issue in this context in that it does not specify what occurs if something that "need[s] to be carried out" is not. But we see no reasonable basis upon which to interpret that silence as a directive to read footnote 1 out of the SCM Agreement. Indeed, we take special note that this silence in Annex II(II)(2) does not mean that other portions of Annex II cease to speak, and we recall that the entirety of Annex II(II)(2) only operates in the presence of an allegation that a "drawback scheme[] conveys a subsidy by reason of over‑rebate or excess drawback".108 Thus, we interpret such silence as just that, leaving us to the provisions that the otherwise intact SCM Agreement provides, including footnote 1.

7.3.3.1.1.5 Annex III

7.53.
Annex III is entitled "Guidelines in the Determination of Substitution Drawback Systems as Export Subsidies". As the title indicates, it is applicable to a particular species of duty drawback schemes, i.e. substitution drawback schemes. Substitution schemes allow participants, when requesting drawback, to treat certain domestically sourced inputs that were consumed in the production of an exported product as if they had been imported and thus subject to import duties.109
7.54.
Although there are certain structural and textual differences between Annexes II and III due to the different issues they address110, these are minor for our purposes. Given the similarities between Annexes II and III, therefore, we limit our discussion of Annex III to the following observations. Like Annex II, Annex III consists of two parts. Annex III(I) states facts and principles, acknowledging the existence of and describing substitution drawback schemes, and recalls that under Annex I(i) such schemes result in subsidies when remissions obtained under them are excess.111 Consistent with this observation, Annex III(II) provides guidance for investigating authorities that is designed to allow investigating authorities to identify excess remissions.112 We especially note that the issue addressed in Annex III(II)(3) is analogous to that addressed in Annex II(II)(2), and the texts of the two are also materially similar. Annex III(II)(3) provides:

Where there are no verification procedures, where they are not reasonable, or where such procedures are instituted and considered reasonable but are found not to be actually applied or not applied effectively, there may be a subsidy. In such cases a further examination by the exporting Member based on the actual transactions involved would need to be carried out to determine whether an excess payment occurred.

7.55.
The European Union argues that because Annex III(II)(3) does not specify what occurs in the absence of reliable verification procedures or a "further examination" that "would need to be carried out", as was the case with Annex II(II)(2), the Excess Remissions Principle ceases to apply and investigative authorities may use other principles to identify the subsidy. The crucial point again is that even if Annex III provides incomplete guidance as to how to determine whether excess payments occurred under substitution drawback schemes, without some relatively clear indication to the contrary within Annex III's focus of determining whether excess remissions occurred, we see no reasonable basis upon which to interpret this silence as substantively altering what amounts to a "subsidy" in Article 1 of the SCM Agreement. We find no such indication in any examined provision, including Annex III.113

7.3.3.1.1.6 Conclusion – legal standard under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii)

7.56.
We conclude that the Excess Remissions Principle provides the legal standard under which to determine whether remissions of import duties obtained under a duty drawback scheme constitutes a financial contribution in the form of revenue forgone otherwise due under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement114, and reject the European Union's position that Annex II and/or Annex III provides a relevant reason to depart from the Excess Remissions Principle. Thus, even if the exporting Member has no reliable system of tracking inputs consumed in the production of a relevant exported product and in the absence of a further examination by the exporting Member of that issue, investigating authorities should still determine if an excess remission occurred.

7.3.3.1.2 Application of Article 1 to the Commission's MBS subsidy determination

7.57.
In its investigation, the Commission concluded that the MBS was "a[n export] subsidy … in the form of forgone government revenue which confers a benefit upon [Novatex]".115 The following statements in the Provisional Determination clearly explain that the financial contribution, i.e. the "forgone government revenue", was not any excess remissions but the total amount of unpaid duties, and it was this amount that was to be countervailed116: (a) "the normal rule of countervailing of [sic] the amount of (revenue forgone) unpaid duties applies, rather than any purported excess remission"117; and (b) "[t]he subsidy amount … was calculated on the basis of import duties forgone … on the material imported under the [MBS]".118
7.58.
The Commission indicated that this approach was justified because: (a) Pakistan "did not effectively apply its verification system or procedure to confirm whether and in what amounts inputs were consumed in the production of the exported product"; and (b) Pakistan "did not carry out a further examination based on actual inputs involved, although this would normally need to be carried out in the absence of an effectively applied verification system".119 The problem with this approach is thus clear. That is, as explained above, these reasons, even if true, provide no basis upon which to depart from the Excess Remissions Principle. The Commission should still have determined whether an excess remission occurred. The Commission, therefore, offered no reasoned and adequate explanation for why the entire amount of unpaid duties was a financial contribution and that those duties were "in excess of those which have accrued" within the meaning of footnote 1 of the SCM Agreement, and thus acted inconsistently with Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement.
7.59.
In this regard, we note the European Union's concern that our decision would require investigating authorities to essentially administer another Member's duty drawback system in the event that the system is found to be deficient under Annex II(II). To be clear, this is not what we believe the SCM Agreement requires. If an exporting Member's system is found to be wanting under Annex II(II), the amount of the excess remissions would need to be determined on the basis of information available to the investigating authority. If an investigating authority lacks "necessary information" with respect to a specific issue, it may rely on facts available under Article 12.7 of the SCM Agreement.120 In that event, we do not exclude the possibility that an investigating authority might permissibly determine that all remitted duties under a drawback scheme are "excess" in the absence of reliable information with which to calculate the excess amount. But that outcome results from the lack of necessary information, not from the non‑applicability of the Excess Remissions Principle. This is an important distinction because it may be possible for an exporter to supply the necessary information in circumstances where the exporter's government failed, for example, to conduct a further examination under Annex II(II). Indeed, it was noted in this case that the Commission has in the past used other information to determine the extent of excess remissions in circumstances where the Commission determined that the exporting Member did not have a reliable verification system with respect to its duty drawback scheme and did not conduct a further investigation of the excess remissions matter.121

7.3.3.1.3 Conclusion – Article 1

7.60.
In accordance with our reasoning above, we find that by failing to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation for why the entire amount of remitted duties, which the Commission found to be the financial contribution (and, thus, the countervailable subsidy), was "in excess of those which have accrued" within the meaning of footnote 1 of the SCM Agreement, the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement.122 Because the Commission, therefore, incorrectly identified the existence of a subsidy, we also find that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 3.1(a) by improperly finding the existence of a "subsidy" that was contingent on export performance.123

7.3.3.2 Other MBS-related claims

7.61.
Pakistan also claims that the Commission, in making its MBS subsidy determination:

a. Failed to investigate whether the duty drawback system verification mechanisms were based on generally accepted commercial practices in the country of export. This Report has previously found this claim to be outside our terms of reference.

b. Failed to provide Pakistan with the opportunity to assist the Commission's determination of the excess amount, failed to take into account evidence regarding the amount of any excess drawback, and failed to make normal allowance for waste. Pakistan has indicated that if the Panel reaches the conclusion stated in Section 7.3.3.1.3, above, and reaches that conclusion in the manner that we did, Pakistan no longer requests findings on these claims.124 We therefore do not address them.

c. Violated Annexes II(II) and III(II) "as a whole". Pakistan's arguments, in our view, have clarified that this claim is predicated on the Panel finding a violation of one of the "steps" that Annex I(i), II(II) and/or Annex III(II) prescribe.125 In light of the discussion directly above in paragraphs (a) and (b), and the fact that we find no relevant violation of Annex I(i) as described in paragraph (d), below, we find no such violations. This claim is therefore moot.

d. Violated Annex I(i). Pakistan has asserted this claim in two different ways. First, Pakistan argues that the Commission violated this provision for the same reasons that it violated Article 1. Insofar as this is the case, we exercise judicial economy with respect to this claim. Second, Pakistan argues that the Commission violated Annex I(i) as a necessary consequence of its violations of Annexes II and/or III.126 Insofar as this is the case, because we find no separate violations of Annexes II and III, this claim is moot.

e. Violated Articles 1.1(b), 10, 19, and 32, and Article VI of the GATT 1994. Pakistan has explained that these claims are consequential to other violations of the SCM Agreement.127 Insofar as such claims are premised on claims that we do not consider, such claims are moot. Insofar as they are based on violations of Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) and/or Article 3.1(a), we exercise judicial economy with respect to them.128

7.4 CLAIMS REGARDING THE LTF-EOP

7.4.1 Introduction

7.62.
Pakistan's LTF-EOP programme provided government-financed loans through pre-approved banks for certain qualifying companies. The banks were prohibited from charging interest rates above a specified level, which consisted of a base interest rate that was to be determined by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on an annual basis, plus a further mark-up of up to three percentage points. Novatex concluded a loan under the LTF-EOP with a consortium of five banks in June 2005 for a maximum of Pakistani rupees (PKR) [***] (the LTF-EOP Loan). The LTF-EOP Loan was structured so that it could be drawn down in tranches over time, and Novatex drew down the loan in this manner. Each tranche had a maturity term of 7.5 years and was assigned an interest rate at the time of its drawdown, which was locked in for the duration of its term. That rate was the SBP's annual base rate prevailing at the time of drawdown plus a mark-up of 1.8 percentage points. In June 2005, the SBP's annual base rate was 5% and never changed thereafter. Thus, the interest rate assigned to all tranches that Novatex drew down ended up being the same, i.e. 6.8%. The Commission determined the LTF-EOP Loan to be a countervailable subsidy in its investigation. In doing so, the Commission determined that the LTF-EOP Loan conferred a "benefit" to Novatex by comparing the amount of interest Novatex paid on the total outstanding amount of the LTF-EOP Loan during the period of investigation (POI) with the interest that Novatex would have paid if the interest rate on the LTF-EOP Loan had not been 6.8%, but a commercial benchmark interest rate instead. That benchmark interest rate was a rate taken from the website of the SBP that prevailed during the POI (the SBP Rate)129, and was 14.44%.

7.4.2 Main arguments of the parties

7.63.
Pakistan raises two related claims in this context, one under the chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement and one under Article 14(b). Pakistan argues that the Commission's determination that the LTF-EOP Loan conferred a "benefit" to Novatex within the meaning of Article 1.1(b) of the SCM Agreement is inconsistent with the chapeau of Article 14 because the Commission failed to adequately explain the application of its method of calculating the benefit in light of its own guidelines on this subject (the EU Guidelines).130 In this context, Pakistan argues that the Commission failed to: (a) identify a comparable commercial loan; (b) identify the interest normally payable on a comparable commercial loan to Novatex; (c) identify the interest payable on a comparable loan to companies in a similar financial situation in the same sector of the economy; (d) identify the interest payable on a comparable loan to companies in any sector of the economy; (e) reflect in its analysis the particular multi-tranche structure of the LTF-EOP Loan, whereby each tranche was assigned an interest rate at the time of its drawdown; (f) explain why the SBP Rate was an appropriate benchmark for a loan of 7.5 years, which the LTF-EOP Loan assigned to each tranche drawn down, when the SBP Rate reflects an average of several lending rates for shorter loans; and (g) explain why the Commission rejected evidence on the record concerning available commercial loans to Novatex that Novatex provided during the investigation.131 For essentially the same reasons, Pakistan argues that the Commission's method of calculating the "benefit" was inconsistent with Article 14(b)132, i.e. "because the application of its method was not 'consistent with [the] guidelines [in Article 14(b)]', because the EU failed to identify a comparable commercial loan".133 In this context, Pakistan emphasizes that the Commission improperly benchmarked interest payments made on principal drawn down by Novatex under the LTF-EOP Loan before the POI with a benchmark (i.e. the SBP Rate) prevailing during the POI. Relying on these arguments Pakistan also claims violations of Articles 1.1(b), 10, 19.1, and 32 of the SCM Agreement, and Article VI:3 of the GATT 1994.134
7.64.
The European Union argues that the Commission adequately explained its methodology for assessing the benefit conferred under the LTF-EOP Loan as required by the chapeau of Article 14. In particular, the European Union stresses that Novatex could draw down amounts under the LTF‑EOP Loan at times of its choosing, and that interest rates were assigned to tranches at the time they were drawn down. This flexibility meant that the LTF-EOP Loan was more akin to a line of credit than a fixed-term loan where an interest rate is typically assigned to the entire loan amount at the time of contracting. Due to such fundamental differences, it was proper to not consider typical fixed‑term loans when benchmarking the LTF-EOP Loan, including the commercial loans offered by Novatex in the investigation, and instead the Commission chose a proxy against which to benchmark the LTF-EOP Loan, i.e. the SBP Rate. That the LTF-EOP Loan operated like a flexible line of credit also meant that it was proper to benchmark any interest payments made during the POI on principal outstanding during the POI against a benchmark prevailing during the POI, regardless of whether such principal had been drawn down by Novatex before or during the POI.135 The European Union emphasizes, however, that the record most reasonably reflects that the entirety of the countervailed loan amount was drawn down during the POI.136 The European Union asserts that the Commission explained all such issues in its Determinations and associated disclosure documents to Novatex. Moreover, the European Union stresses that the Commission's explanations on this score were sufficient considering that Novatex and Pakistan advocated the use of the SBP Rate during the investigation.137 The European Union submits that Pakistan's claim under Article 14(b) is unfounded for essentially the same reasons.138 The European Union therefore also argues that the Panel should reject Pakistan's claims under Articles 1.1(b), 10, 19.1, and 32 of the SCM Agreement and with Article VI:3 of the GATT 1994.139

7.4.3 Relevant legal considerations

7.65.
Article 14 of the SCM Agreement reads, in relevant part:

Article 14

Calculation of the Amount of a Subsidy in Terms

of the Benefit to the Recipient

For the purpose of Part V, any method used by the investigating authority to calculate the benefit to the recipient conferred pursuant to paragraph 1 of Article 1 shall be provided for in the national legislation or implementing regulations of the Member concerned and its application to each particular case shall be transparent and adequately explained. Furthermore, any such method shall be consistent with the following guidelines:

(b) a loan by a government shall not be considered as conferring a benefit, unless there is a difference between the amount that the firm receiving the loan pays on the government loan and the amount the firm would pay on a comparable commercial loan which the firm could actually obtain on the market. In this case the benefit shall be the difference between these two amounts;

7.66.
Sub-paragraph (b), therefore, establishes "guidelines" for determining whether a loan confers a benefit on a recipient. According to those guidelines, a benchmark under Article 14(b) is a "comparable commercial loan", which "should have as many elements as possible in common with the investigated loan to be comparable" such that the comparison is meaningful.140 Selecting such a benchmark "involves a progressive search for a comparable commercial loan, starting with the commercial loan that is closest to the investigated loan (a loan to the same borrower that is nearly identical to the investigated loan in terms of timing, structure, maturity, size and currency) and moving to less similar commercial loans while adjusting them to ensure comparability with the investigated loan".141 In the absence of a commercial loan actually available on the market, a proxy may be used.142 The further away a selected benchmark is from the ideal benchmark of a materially identical loan, however, the more adjustments must be made to ensure the benchmark's comparability to the subject loan. Moreover, because a "benefit" analysis depends on making a comparison "between the terms and conditions of the [loan] when it is granted with the terms and conditions that would have been offered on the market at that time"143, for purposes of Article 14(b) "[t]he comparison is to be performed as though the [actual and benchmark] loans were obtained at the same time … [and thus] the assessmentfocuses on the moment in time when the lender and borrower commit to the transaction".144 Article 14(b) thus allows certain flexibility in selecting a benchmark.145 Moreover, according to the chapeau of Article 14, the method employed "shall be provided for in the national legislation or implementing regulations of the Member concerned and its application to each particular case shall be transparent and adequately explained".146

7.4.4 Evaluation by the Panel

7.67.
This Section evaluates Pakistan's claims under Article 14 of the SCM Agreement. It proceeds in two parts. First, it examines Pakistan's claim under Article 14(b). Second, it examines Pakistan's claim under the chapeau of Article 14.

7.4.4.1 Article 14(b)

7.68.
To succeed in its claim under Article 14(b), Pakistan must make out a prima facie case that the SBP Rate does not represent "the amount [Novatex] would pay on a comparable commercial loan which [Novatex] could actually obtain on the market".147 With this in mind, this Section proceeds in four parts. First, we address a factual disagreement between the parties regarding when Novatex drew down the principal under the LTF-EOP Loan on which it paid interest during the POI, i.e. the principal that the Commission countervailed. Addressing this issue will provide helpful background for the following two parts. Second, it examines the portions of the Determinations and associated disclosure documents that discuss the selection of the SBP Rate as the benchmark interest rate. Third, based the previous two parts, it examines whether Pakistan has made out its prima facie case and whether the European Union has rebutted it. Finally, it concludes.

7.4.4.1.1 Whether Novatex drew down principal before the POI on which it paid interest during the POI

7.69.
This Section examines when Novatex drew down the principal under the LTF-EOP Loan on which it paid interest during the POI. The parties agree that, in fact, Novatex drew down tranches of the LTF-EOP Loan before the POI began.148 For ease of reference, this Report will refer to this as the Pre-POI Principal. Pakistan claims that the record before the Commission reflected that Novatex carried over a substantial amount of the Pre‑POI Principal into the POI, and thus made interest payments on it during the POI. The European Union asserts that the record reflected that all principal drawn down under the LTF-EOP Loan on which Novatex paid interest during the POI was drawn down during the POI. We address this factual disagreement here because: (a) all the evidence that we discuss in this Section was on the record of the investigation before the issuance of the Provisional Determination, and thus it provides context for understanding the content of the Determinations; and (b) it may pertain to an assessment regarding whether Pakistan has made out a prima facie case that the SBP Rate represented what Novatex would have paid on a "comparable commercial loan".149
7.70.
In this context, we first recall that during the investigation both Novatex and Pakistan argued that the entire amount of the LTF-EOP Loan should have been benchmarked against an interest rate prevailing during the time-period in which Novatex negotiated and concluded the LTF‑EOP Loan, i.e. 2004-2005.150 Under this argument, when Novatex drew down tranches under the LTF‑EOP Loan was immaterial. As an apparent result, neither party ever explicitly told the Commission that Novatex drew down principal under the LTF-EOP Loan before the POI. Pakistan's position now, therefore, is not that the Commission ignored any particular argument by a relevant party to the investigation, but that the record at large reflected that Novatex paid interest on Pre-POI Principal during the POI.
7.71.
We therefore examine the evidence that was before the Commission during the investigation that went to the issue of when Novatex drew down the LTF-EOP Loan principal upon which it paid interest during the POI. Based on the parties' arguments and our own review of the record, the material pieces of evidence in this context are: (a) the questionnaire sent to Novatex; (b) Novatex's questionnaire response; (c) the Second Deficiency Letter and Novatex's response thereto; (d) the LTF-EOP offer letter; (e) the LTF-EOP Contract; and (f) Novatex's 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 annual reports. We examine each in turn.

7.4.4.1.1.1 The questionnaire

7.72.
At the outset of the investigation, the Commission sent a questionnaire to Novatex requesting, inter alia, information on "[s]chemes of export credit".151 Under this heading, the questionnaire queried whether Novatex had availed itself of the LTF-EOP, and, if the answer was affirmative, to "provide … [certain] information in relation to export credits used during the IP".152 This requested information included the "[a]mount of credit granted" under the scheme, the "[d]ate of grant", the "[r]epayment period", the [i]nterest rate payable", and the "[n]ormal commercial interest rate".153 The questionnaire indicated that this "information [should] be presented in" an attached Excel spreadsheet (the Spreadsheet Template).154 The Spreadsheet Template contained a number of columns with headings the names of which generally corresponded to the types of information requested.155 We take special note, however, that the template contains no heading for the "date of grant" of any amounts. Given the context in which it was provided, therefore, the purpose of the completed Spreadsheet Template was to provide information on Novatex's interest payments on "export credit[s] used during the IP", and allow a comparison of such payments to what Novatex would have paid under a commercial interest rate. In other words, the Spreadsheet Template asked Novatex to compare its interest payments made under the LTF-EOP Loan to an applicable commercial benchmark, thereby assisting the Commission in determining whether, and in what amount, the loan conferred a "benefit" to Novatex.
7.73.
Two aspects of this questionnaire warrant emphasis. First, the questionnaire requested "information in relation to export credits used duringthe IP".156 This phrase indicates, and the parties agree, that the questionnaire requested information on interest payments made during the POI on amounts of any relevant LTF-EOP loan that were outstanding during the POI.157 It was therefore foreseeable that Novatex might provide information on payments made on principal received by Novatex under an LTF-EOP loan before the POI. Second, the Commission would have expected Novatex's response to reasonably reflect the "date of grant" of any such export credits, at least in a manner relevant for purposes of calculating the benefit the loan may have conferred upon Novatex. However, given that the template contained no section for the "date of grant", it was foreseeable that the provision of such information would be subject to the judgment of Novatex158, and thus may require interpretation by the Commission.

7.4.4.1.1.2 The questionnaire response and the Original Spreadsheets

7.74.
On 20 October 2009, Novatex responded to the questionnaire.159 In that response, Novatex indicated that it had availed itself of the LTF-EOP.160 Novatex provided certain background information concerning the LTF-EOP Loan, including that it had been "approved … in April 2005", the total amount of the loan, the identity of the five-bank lending consortium, the PKR amounts to which Novatex was entitled from each bank, and the interest rate of 6.8%.161 Moreover, Novatex attached Excel spreadsheets laying out Novatex's interest payments on the LTF-EOP Loan during the POI (the Original Spreadsheets).162 A group of spreadsheets was assigned to each of the five lending consortium banks. The Original Spreadsheets contained all the columns and headings that the Spreadsheet Template contained, but also added columns, marking them with an asterisk that indicated their addition.163 In particular, the Original Spreadsheets added columns entitled: "Opening"; "Received/(Payments)"; "Outstanding balance"; "Period"; and "Date of Payment". Generally, each row of the spreadsheets was dedicated to a "Period" of time within the POI over which a specific and static "Outstanding balance" of principal under the loan prevailed. Thus, every time that outstanding amount changed (i.e. when Novatex "Received" principal during the POI, evidenced by a non-parenthesized amount in this column, or executed a "Payment" of principal back to the banks during the POI, evidenced by a parenthesized amount in this column) a new row in the spreadsheet appears with the re-adjusted "Outstanding balance". For each "Period", Novatex indicated the amount of interest that it had paid on the outstanding principal present during that period and the "Date of [such] Payment". Each row compared that amount of interest paid to what Novatex would have paid under a commercial interest rate of [***].
7.75.
Six aspects of the Original Spreadsheets warrant emphasis. First, in each group of spreadsheets applying to each of the five consortium banks, only one numeric entry164 appears under the column "Opening". This indicates this entry's uniqueness.
7.76.
Second, the amount in each "Opening" entry corresponds exactly to the "Outstanding balance" entry in the same row. Moreover, each such row corresponds to a "Period" that begins on the first day of the POI. This indicates that Novatex received this "Opening" amount either before the POI or on the first day of the POI. We consider the word "Opening", however, as too ambiguous on its own to signal which was the case.165
7.77.
Third, for each "Opening" amount, there is no corresponding entry for principal "Received". This contrasts with every other instance in which Novatex drew down principal under the loan during the POI, reflected by a positive entry in the "Received / (Payments)" column.166 In our view, this strongly suggests that the "Opening" amounts were not received on the first day of the POI, but beforehand.
7.78.
Fourth, given the logic of the spreadsheets' structure, it would appear that in each row that reflects principal being "Received", the corresponding "Period" reflected in that same row will begin on the date of the drawdown. Novatex drew down amounts from each bank in the lending consortium [***] or [***] times during the POI (excluding the "Opening" amounts), depending on the bank. Drawdowns were, therefore, rare events during the year-long POI. It would thus appear a remarkable coincidence that Novatex would have drawn down amounts from all five banks on what happened to be the first day of the POI.167 In our view, this made the notion that the "Opening" amounts were drawn down during the POI highly questionable.
7.79.
Fifth, we note the magnitude of the "Opening" amounts. The aggregate value of the five "Opening" amounts is PKR [***].168 This is roughly [***] of the total amount to which Novatex was entitled under the LTF-EOP Loan, i.e. PKR [***]. The drawdowns during the POI reflected by entries in the "Received / (Payments)" column were much smaller, totalling PKR [***]169, or approximately [***] of the amount to which Novatex was entitled under the loan. It will be recalled that in its questionnaire response, Novatex indicated that Novatex's PKR [***] LTF-EOP Loan had been "approved … in April 2005".170 It would appear a rather extraordinary coincidence, therefore, that, of a loan approved in April 2005, [***] would be drawn down in one day that happened to be 1 July 2008, i.e. the first day of the POI in this particular investigation. In our view, this indicates that it was highly unlikely that the "Opening" amounts were drawn down during the POI.
7.80.
Sixth, in its questionnaire response, Novatex stated that it "has made total drawdowns of PKR [***]", (i.e. the last day of the POI).171 The spreadsheets indicate, however, that during the POI Novatex drew down less than PKR [***] (even assuming the "Opening" amounts were drawdowns), and the parties agree that the spreadsheets indicate that Novatex had paid back less than PKR [***].172 These data demonstrate that pre-POI principal drawdowns and pre-POI principal repayments had occurred. Although detecting these differences would have required some calculation, at least summing the drawdown amounts in the spreadsheets would not appear overly complex. We thus find such differences indicative that the "Opening" amounts could very well represent drawdowns occurring before the POI, as Novatex could have well carried over Pre-POI Principal into the POI.

7.4.4.1.1.3 The Second Deficiency Letter and the Revised Spreadsheets

7.81.
As indicated in the above Section, the Original Spreadsheets claimed that the commercial benchmark interest rate to apply to the LTF-EOP Loan was [***]. This interest rate was lower than the interest rate Novatex indicated that it paid on the LTF-EOP Loan, i.e. 6.8%. This apparently begged the question as to why Novatex would have opted for the LTF-EOP Loan in the first place. Apparently recognizing this, on 13 November 2009, the Commission sent a letter to Novatex (the Second Deficiency Letter). The letter, inter alia, asked Novatex to clarify whether the provision of the [***] figure was in error, and asked Pakistan to provide the contract for Novatex's LTF-EOP Loan from the five-bank consortium.173
7.82.
On 24 November 2009, Novatex responded to the Second Deficiency Letter. In the response, Novatex provided the Commission with "[t]he facility offer letter [(Offer Letter)] signed by the consortium banks and the final contract executed between Novatex Limited and consortium of five banks" (the LTF-EOP Contract).174 Novatex also confirmed that the [***] figure in the Original Spreadsheets had been provided in error, and indicated that the relevant commercial interest benchmark was instead [***].175 Novatex provided revised versions of the Original Spreadsheets (the Revised Spreadsheets) that reflected this correction in the "Commercial Interest rate for loans and guarantees" column, and resultant changes in the "Interest payable for Commercial Interest Rate" columns (i.e. the interest that Novatex would have paid on the LTF-EOP Loan had the interest rate been [***] instead of 6.8%). Aside from those revisions, the Revised Spreadsheets were almost identical to the Original Spreadsheets.176
7.83.
One further change was significant, however. To the left of the "Opening" column, Novatex added a column entitled "Date of grant of Principal LTF-EOP". Entries in this new column appear in each row representing a drawdown of principal during the POI reflected by a non-parenthesized entry in the "Received / (Payments)" column. Pakistan has explained that the addition of this column "was intended to help the investigating authority to identify more quickly those entries in the 'Received/(Payments)' column that reflect drawdowns actually made during the [POI]".177 The problem with this revision, however, was that this column also included a date next to each of the "Opening" amounts in the Revised Spreadsheets, i.e. the first day of the POI. On its face, this indicated that the "Opening" amounts had been "granted" on the first day of the POI. The "Opening" amounts, however, still had no associated entries in the "Received" column, which continued to contrast with every other instance in which Novatex drew down principal under the loan during the POI, reflected by a non-parenthesized entry in the "Received / (Payments)" column. Thus, there continued to appear something different about the "Opening" amounts from other entries indicating drawdowns during the POI.
7.84.
We note that the Revised Spreadsheets were particularly noteworthy in the investigation. This was so because the Commission used them as the basis on which to calculate the benefit conferred by the LTF-EOP Loan. The Commission did this by apparently replacing the [***] interest rate provided by Novatex with its chosen benchmark rate, i.e. 14.44%.178 Thus, in this dispute, the European Union emphasizes the importance of the fact that the Revised Spreadsheets indicated that the "Date of grant" of the "Opening" amounts was the first day of the POI.

7.4.4.1.1.4 The LTF-EOP offer letter

7.85.
Novatex attached the Offer Letter to its response to the Second Deficiency Letter. The Offer Letter is dated 30 April 2005 and contains terms of a proposed loan. The Offer Letter identifies Novatex as the borrower in a facility that was to be "[***]".179 It further identifies a consortium of [***] banks as the lenders; five of these banks became the lending consortium reflected in the LTF-EOP Contract (discussed in the following Section of this Report).180 The Offer Letter, therefore, was the predecessor, and eventually formed the basis, of the LTF-EOP Contract. Its terms are non‑binding.181 Nevertheless, given that it provided the basis for negotiations between Novatex and the banks for what eventually became the LTF-EOP Contract, and was on the record of the investigation, we believe that it carries some probative weight.
7.86.
The Offer Letter contains an "[***]" of proposed terms of what became the LTF-EOP Loan. Regarding the "[***]" of the facility, the Offer Letter specifies that "[***]" and that "[***]" and that such drawdowns could only occur until "[***]". The Facility Effective Date is "[***]".182 The "[***]" of the loan was to be 7.5 years.183

7.4.4.1.1.5 The LTF-EOP Contract

7.87.
Novatex also attached the LTF-EOP Contract to the Second Deficiency Letter.184 The LTF‑EOP Contract is dated 9 June 2005, and was thus concluded roughly six weeks after the conclusion of the Offer Letter. The LTF-EOP Contract describes a loan very similar to that described in the Offer Letter.
7.88.
Under the LTF-EOP Contract, a consortium of five banks would make a loan of up to PKR [***] available to Novatex under the LTF-EOP programme.185 The loan was structured such that it could be drawn down in tranches. Novatex was required to draw down [***] of the total loan amount within [***] of the signing of the LTF-EOP Contract, and Novatex could only draw down the remaining amounts within [***] of the signing of the LTF-EOP Contract.186 There is nothing on the record specifically indicating that the [***] deadline had ever been extended.187 It is undisputed that the [***] deadline was extended, which accounted for Novatex's drawdowns during the POI, which began roughly three years following the conclusion of the LTF-EOP Contract.188 The interest rate for a particular tranche would be set when it was drawn down and remained locked in until the tranche was paid back; that interest rate comprised of the SBP annual base rate that prevailed at the time of drawdown, plus a mark-up of 1.8 percentage points.189 At the time of its drawdown, each tranche was assigned its own 7.5-year repayment period. Further, when read together with the government circular describing the LTF-EOP programme, the parties further agree, and we see no reason to doubt, that the LTF-EOP Loan had an initial eighteen-monthgrace period on principal repayment.190
7.89.
We therefore note that the LTF-EOP Contract clarifies: (a) that the LTF-EOP Loan was concluded in June 2005(i.e. roughly threeyears before the beginning of the POI); (b) each tranche of principal drawn down thereunder had its own 7.5-year repayment period assigned to it; (c) the LTF-EOP Loan had an initial eighteen-month grace period on principal repayment; and (d) Novatex had to draw down at least [***] of the loan by roughly [***]. Given that there is no material evidence on the record that the [***] deadline was not respected, and the European Union has provided us no particular reason to believe that it would have been reasonable to assume that Novatex would not avail itself of the full 7.5-year repayment term per tranche, we consider that this combination of facts means that it was a near certainty that Novatex would have drawn down Pre-POI Principal and carried over at least some of that principal into the POI, and thus that the "Opening" amounts in the Original and Revised Spreadsheets represented, or at least contained significant amounts of, Pre-POI Principal.191

7.4.4.1.1.6 Novatex annual reports

7.90.
Pakistan asserts that the Commission also should have been on notice that the "Opening" amounts in the Original and Revised Spreadsheets represented Pre-POI Principal because Novatex's 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 annual reports, which included financial statements, both indicated that on 30 June 2008 (i.e. the last day preceding the POI) Novatex had large sums outstanding from all five of the lending consortium banks under the LTF-EOP Loan. The statements do indeed reflect this192, and were on the record of the investigation before the Provisional Determination was issued.193 The financial statements clearly list Novatex's outstanding balances under the LTF-EOP Loan bank-by-bank in the notes to the financial statements. When one compares these bank-specific outstanding balances on 30 June 2008 to the bank-specific "Opening" amounts in the Original and Revised Spreadsheets for the first day of the POI (i.e. 1 July 2008), we observe that those two amounts are identical for three of the five lending banks ([***]) and almost identical for two of the banks ([***]). These data, on their own, prove that the "Opening" balances were indeed Pre-POI Principal, not drawdowns that occurred on the first day of the POI. We note that even though these reports may have been examined by the Commission for purposes other than examining the LTF-EOP, and contain many types of information beyond the LTF-EOP Loan balances, they were still on the record before the Commission, and the outstanding balance data were, in our view, plain enough that we would expect a reasonable investigating authority to detect it and take it into account, especially given the evidence (discussed above) calling into question the nature of the "Opening" balances in the Original and Revised Spreadsheets.194

7.4.4.1.1.7 Conclusion – timing of drawdowns of principal

7.91.
We conclude that the evidence discussed above, taken together, would clearly suggest to a reasonable investigating authority that the amounts in the "Opening" balances in the Original and Revised Spreadsheets represented Pre-POI Principal.195 This is not to say, however, that the manner in which Novatex presented its data in the Original and, in particular, the Revised Spreadsheets, to the Commission in this context was a model of clarity. Indeed, assigning the date of the first day of the POI to the "Date of grant" column next to the "Opening" amounts in the Revised Spreadsheets appeared confusing at best.

7.4.4.1.2 The decision to use the SBP Rate: Determinations and disclosure documents

7.92.
In this Section, we examine the portions of the Determinations and associated disclosure documents provided to Novatex discussing how the Commission determined the LTF-EOP Loan to be a subsidy, and, more specifically, how it chose to benchmark Novatex's interest payments under the loan during the POI against the SBP Rate.
7.93.
In the Provisional Determination, the Commission found the LTF-EOP Loan to be a countervailable subsidy. In so finding, the Commission first discussed the LTF-EOP scheme, demonstrating an understanding of its legislative basis, eligibility requirements, and implementation procedures. With respect to such procedures, the Provisional Determination indicated that: (a) the maximum period of financing was 7.5 years; (b) "[b]anks are allowed to charge the borrower up to 3% over and above the rates notified by the SBP. Interest rates for financing under [the] LTF-EOP scheme are benchmarked with the weighted average yields of 12 months Treasury Bills and three and five years Pakistan Investment Bond, depending on the period of financing"; (c) "[u]nder this scheme, the SBP mandatorily sets maximum ceiling interest rates applicable to long-term loans"; and (d) Novatex's loan under the LTF-EOP was "a long-term financing and the benefit was availed of in April 2005 for a period of 7-1/2 years".196 The Commission then considered that "Pursuant to Article 6(b) of the basic Regulation, the benefit to the recipient is calculated by taking the difference between the [SBP] imposed credit ceiling and the applicable commercial credit rates."197
7.94.
The provisional company-specific disclosure sent to Novatex198 revealed what this "applicable commercial credit rate" was in its subsidy calculation regarding the LTF-EOP Loan. The document explained that, vis-à-vis the LTF-EOP Loan, "[t]he normal interest rate was found at an average of 14,44% (source Statistic on monthly average of interest rate - outstanding loans - from SBP" (i.e. the SBP Rate).199 An associated table in the disclosure also indicated that this monthly average rate was "Interest normally payable (based on average for the IP; Outstanding loan; excluding zero Markup".200 The table provided this rate for each month of the POI, and then averaged them, yielding the 14.44% figure. The following note appears below this table: "all banks - source: Statistics DWH Department - sbp.org.pk)".201 It is undisputed that the Commission then calculated the subsidy amount by taking the difference between Novatex's actual interest payments on the LTF-EOP Loan (pursuant to the loan's 6.8% interest rate) made during the POI and the interest that Novatex would have paid on the LTF-EOP Loan had the interest rate been 14.44% instead.202
7.95.
The definitive general disclosure document (which was a draft of the Definitive Determination) provided the following relevant discussion:

Both parties claimed that the interest rate used to calculate the subsidy margin of this financing scheme has to be the interest rate available at the time the exporting producer was negotiating the fixed rate financing, namely the rate in the year 2004‑2005. …

These claims had to be rejected. First of all, it should be clarified that the rate used in the calculation is the commercial interest rate applied during the IP in Pakistan, as sourced from the website of the [SBP]. When calculating the subsidy amount the amount of credit for the IP, as reported by the cooperating exporting producer, was used. It is the normal practise [sic] when examining the benefit availed by a party during a specific IP to take the applicable commercial credit rate prevailing in the market during the corresponding IP.203

7.96.
The definitive company-specific disclosure document provided the following relevant discussion:

The subsidy amount obtained under the LTF-EOP … was derived from the difference between the … [SBP] imposed credit ceiling under the LTF-EOP credit facilities and the interest payable under the normal commercial interest (i.e. interest rate of 14,44% found from the [SBP]: Statistic on monthly average interest rate – outstanding loans).204

7.97.
The Definitive Determination provided the following relevant discussion:

Both parties claimed that the interest rate used to calculate the subsidy margin of this financing scheme has to be the interest rate available at the time the exporting producer was negotiating the fixed rate financing, namely the rate in the year 2004‑2005. …

These claims had to be rejected. First of all, it should be clarified that the rate used in the calculation is the commercial interest rate which prevailed during the IP in Pakistan, as sourced from the website of the [SBP]. The financing negotiated in 2004/2005 was drawn down in tranches by the exporter concerned. When calculating the subsidy amount the amount of credit drawn down for the IP, as reported by the cooperating exporting producer, was used. When examining the benefit received by a party during a specific IP the applicable commercial credit rate prevailing in the market during the IP is normally compared to the rate paid on the loan received during the IP, and this was done here.205

7.98.
The Definitive Determination then confirmed the relevant findings in the Provisional Determination, discussed above.206

7.4.4.1.3 Whether Pakistan has made out a prima facie case and, if so, whether the European Union has rebutted it

7.99.
It will be recalled that to succeed in its claim under Article 14(b), Pakistan must make out a prima facie case that the SBP Rate does not represent "the amount [Novatex] would pay on a comparable commercial loan which [Novatex] could actually obtain on the market". Based on the evidence discussed above, we conclude that Pakistan has done so and that the European Union has not rebutted it.207 The key issue in this context is whether the SBP Rate is associated with a "comparable commercial loan". Through its arguments highlighting the lack of discussions in the Determinations and associated disclosure documents surrounding the choice of the SBP Rate as a benchmark, Pakistan, in our view, has demonstrated that the Determinations and associated disclosure documents leave serious and systemic doubts regarding comparability in terms of timing, structure, maturity, size, and the identities of relevant borrowers.
7.100.
We first consider timing. A "benefit" analysis depends on making a "comparison … to be performed as though the [subject and benchmark] loans were obtained at the same time … [and thus] the assessmentfocuses on the moment in time when the lender and borrower commit to the transaction".208 We perceive three dates that could, in our view, plausibly reference the moment that Novatex and the bank consortium committed to the LTF-EOP Loan (or any portion thereof): (i) the conclusion of the LTF-EOP Contract in June 2005; (ii) the moment each tranche was drawn down and therefore the time at which an interest rate was assigned to that tranche; and/or (iii) the time at which Novatex and the bank consortium extended drawdown deadlines under the loan, thus allowing tranches to be drawn down later than originally planned or allowed under the LTF-EOP Contract. We need not decide which date(s) would be proper to use because the Determinations offer no demonstration that the SBP Rate is meaningfully connected to any of them.209 We recall that the Determinations revealed that the SBP Rate was based on monthly rates for "interest normally payable" on "outstanding loans", i.e. the "commercial interest rate applied during the IP in Pakistan". Such descriptions, however, do not in our view reveal whether this means that the monthly rates were: (a) rates (or averages thereof) that banks intended to, and perhaps did in fact, assign to loans during each month; and/or (b) rates (or averages thereof) that banks had assigned to then-outstanding loans when such loans had been concluded at unknown points in the past (which may have included some loans concluded during the POI). In the presence of such ambiguity, we cannot determine to what extent the SBP Rate is a rate taken from a time that is comparable to the time at which the parties committed to the LTF-EOP Loan (or any portion thereof). Moreover, even if we assume that (a) represents the correct interpretation210, the SBP Rate during the POI would appear to have no meaningful connection to the time at which the parties committed to the transaction vis-à-vis principal drawn down before the POI (it will be recalled that the record suggested that thisrepresented the great majority of the principal on which Novatex paid interest during the POI) and ambiguous connections at best vis-à-vis principal drawn down during the POI.211 If we assume that (b) represents the correct interpretation, this would not avail the European Union because of the ambiguity surrounding when the relevant loans underlying the SBP Rate were concluded and how such times meaningfully coincide with any of the plausible reference dates identified above in this paragraph. The Determinations, therefore, leave serious and systemic doubts as to whether the SBP Rate is associated with comparable commercial loans in terms of timing. The European Union has pointed to nothing that materially mitigates such doubts.
7.101.
We therefore turn to consider comparability issues regarding structure, maturity, size, and the identity of borrowers. The Determinations and associated disclosure documents reveal that the SBP Rate is a rate that reflected "interest normally payable" on "outstanding loans" from "all [presumably Pakistani] banks" that can be expressed as a monthly average, and that it "exclud[ed] zero Markup". But for the fact that such descriptions indicate that the SBP Rate is associated with "loans" that "exclude[ed] zero Markup", this yields no meaningful insight into the structure, maturity, or size of such loans, and provides no indication of the character of borrowers.212 We note that the European Union has stated that the SBP Rate is "synonymous" with the Karachi Inter-Bank Offer Rate (KIBOR). Even assuming arguendo that it was discernible from the Determinations that the SBP Rate represented averaged KIBOR rates prevailing over each month of the POI (the record reflects that KIBOR rates are produced daily)213, and that such rates were on the record of the investigation, the same basic problems with the SBP Rate persist. The European Union points to nothing on the record revealing the size or structure of the loans with which the KIBOR from any particular time was associated.214 Moreover, the European Union agrees that the KIBOR is associated with loans of much shorter durations than the LTF-EOP Loan.215 Further, the European Union points to nothing on the record indicating that the borrowers of the loans associated with the KIBOR in any material way resemble Novatex.216 The Determinations, therefore, leave serious and systemic doubts as to whether the SBP Rate is associated with comparable commercial loans in terms of structure, maturity, and size, and the identities of borrowers.217 The European Union has pointed to nothing that materially mitigates such doubts.

7.4.4.1.4 Conclusion – Article 14(b)

7.102.
In accordance with our reasoning above, we find that the Commission, in calculating the benefit conferred by the LTF-EOP Loan, acted inconsistently with Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement by failing to properly identify what Novatex would have paid on a "comparable commercial loan".218 As a consequence of this violation, we further find that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 1.1(b) of the SCM Agreement.219

7.4.4.2 The chapeau of Article 14

7.103.
Pakistan also claims that the Commission failed to explain its method of benchmarking the LTF-EOP Loan in a transparent and adequate manner vis-à-vis the European Union's national legislation or implementing regulations that provide for such method, as required by the chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement. In its Determinations, the Commission applied Article 6(b) of its Basic Regulation220 to calculate the subsidy amount with respect to the LTF-EOP Loan.221 The European Union has explained that "[t]he process for the identification of a comparable loan is explained in more detail in sub-paragraph E(b) of the EU Guidelines".222 The European Union has further explained that Article 6(b) of the Basic Regulation223 and sub-paragraph E(b) of the EU Guidelines require that a benefit be calculated with reference to a "comparable commercial loan".224
7.104.
In the preceding Section of this Report, we found that Pakistan has made out a prima facie case that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement because it failed to properly identify what Novatex would have paid on a comparable commercial loan, and the European Union had failed to rebut that prima facie case. This failure mainly stemmed from the fact that the Determinations are virtually silent as to why the SBP Rate is associated with a comparable commercial loan. As already noted, the European Union has explained that both the Basic Regulation and EU Guidelines require the identification of a comparable loan. Thus, an explanation of how the Commission identified a comparable loan must be part of the "application" in this particular case of the "method" called for in the Basic Regulation, which includes identification of a comparable loan, within the meaning of the chapeau of Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement, that the Commission used to benchmark the LTF-EOP Loan. In the absence of any meaningful explanations in the Determinations as to why the loans with which the SBP Rate was associated were comparable to the LTF-EOP Loan, we conclude that the Commission acted inconsistently with the chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement.

7.4.4.3 Other LTF-EOP-related claims

7.105.
Pakistan also asserts that, as a consequence of violating Article 14(b) and the chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement, the Commission also violated Articles 10, 19, and 32, and Article VI of the GATT 1994. Such claims are consequential to other alleged violations of the SCM Agreement, and we exercise judicial economy with respect to them.225

7.5 PAKISTAN'S CLAIMS UNDER ARTICLE 15.5 OF THE SCM AGREEMENT

7.5.1 Introduction

7.106.
In this Section of our Report, we address Pakistan's claims concerning Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement. During the investigation, certain parties argued that any injury the domestic industry226 experienced during the period considered227 was not due to subject imports, but other factors. The Commission rejected these arguments, finding that although certain other factors may have also caused injury to the domestic industry, no other factor broke the causal link that existed between subject imports and the injury the domestic industry experienced. In this context, Pakistan advances a "twofold" claim. First, Pakistan argues that the Commission's "approach to causation", whereby the Commission made a finding of the existence of a causal link between subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry prior to the assessment of other known factors, is inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement. Second, Pakistan claims that the Commission failed to properly "separate and distinguish" the effects of certain other known factors from those of subject imports. This Section addresses each in turn.

7.5.2 The Commission's approach to causation

7.107.
In the Provisional Determination, the Commission began its causation analysis with the assessment of the "[e]ffect of the subsidized imports", pursuant to which it "considered" that a causal link existed between the subject imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry.228 The Commission then assessed the "effect of other factors".229 None of these factors was found to "break the causal link" between subject imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry. Thereafter, the Commission "concluded that the imports from the countries concerned have caused material injury to the Union industry".230 In the Definitive Determination, the Commission addressed certain additional arguments raised by interested parties and "confirmed" its findings on causation made in the Provisional Determination.231

7.5.2.1 Main arguments of the parties

7.108.
Pakistan presents three main arguments in this context. First, Pakistan argues that the Commission's "break the causal link" approach is contrary to the "three-step analysis" laid down by the Appellate Body in US – Wheat Gluten.232 Second, Pakistan argues that the Commission's approach prejudged its analysis of other known factors.233 Third, Pakistan argues that the Commission's basis for finding a causal link between subject imports and observed injury to the domestic industry was flawed because: (a) it equated its findings of price undercutting by subject imports with the existence of a causal link between the subject imports and the injury234; and (b) it assumed the existence of a causal link based on temporal coincidence between increase in volume of imports and deterioration of the domestic industry.235
7.109.
The European Union rejects all of Pakistan's arguments. The European Union argues that investigating authorities are free to choose the methodology they use to separate and distinguish the effects of other known factors from the effects of the subsidized imports.236 The European Union asserts that the challenged approach allows the Commission to conclude that the other factors "break the causal link" if such other factors are the true cause of injury.237 The European Union further submits that the Commission's finding of the causal link between subsidized imports and the injury to the domestic industry was based on both volume and price effects of subsidized imports, and not on price undercutting alone as Pakistan contends.238

7.5.2.2 Relevant legal considerations

7.110.
Article 15.5 of the SCM agreement provides:

It must be demonstrated that the subsidized imports are, through the effects[*] of subsidies, causing injury within the meaning of this Agreement. The demonstration of a causal relationship between the subsidized imports and the injury to the domestic industry shall be based on an examination of all relevant evidence before the authorities. The authorities shall also examine any known factors other than the subsidized imports which at the same time are injuring the domestic industry, and the injuries caused by these other factors must not be attributed to the subsidized imports. Factors which may be relevant in this respect include, inter alia, the volumes and prices of non-subsidized imports of the product in question, contraction in demand or changes in the patterns of consumption, trade restrictive practices of and competition between the foreign and domestic producers, developments in technology and the export performance and productivity of the domestic industry.

[*fn original]47 As set forth in paragraphs 2 and 4.

7.111.
It is well-established that Article 15.5 requires an investigating authority to demonstrate the existence of a causal link between subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry. This causal link must involve a "genuine and substantial relationship of cause and effect" between these two elements. The third sentence of Article 15.5 calls for a "non-attribution" analysis which requires the authorities to ensure that the injury caused by "known factors other than the subsidized imports" is not attributed to subsidized imports under investigation. The non-attribution language in Article 15.5 calls for an assessment that involves separating and distinguishing the injurious effects of the other factors from the injurious effects of the subsidized imports and requires a satisfactory explanation of the nature and extent of the injurious effects of the other factors, as distinguished from the injurious effects of the subsidized imports.239
7.112.
We note that in accordance with the guidance laid down by previous panels and the Appellate Body, we consider the jurisprudence on causation analysis developed under Article 4.2(b) of the Agreement on Safeguards and Article 3.5 of the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (Anti‑Dumping Agreement) to be instructive in our evaluation of Pakistan's claims under Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.240 The following Section will draw upon such guidance when discussing Pakistan's claims.

7.5.2.3 Evaluation by the Panel

7.113.
This Section proceeds in three parts. First, we address Pakistan's argument that the Commission's "break the causal link" approach is contrary to the three-step analysis laid down by the Appellate Body in US – Wheat Gluten. Second, we address whether the Commission's approach prejudged its analysis of other known factors. Third, we address certain arguments by Pakistan concerning the basis on which the Commission found a causal link to exist between subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry.

7.5.2.3.1 Significance of US – Wheat Gluten

7.114.
Pakistan argues that the Commission improperly failed to adhere to a prescribed methodology for causation analysis outlined by the Appellate Body in US – Wheat Gluten. Pakistan relies on the following observation of the Appellate Body in US – Wheat Gluten:

[A]s a first step in the competent authorities' examination of causation, … the injurious effects caused to the domestic industry by increased imports are distinguished from the injurious effects caused by other factors. The competent authorities can then, as a second step in their examination, attribute to increased imports, on the one hand, and, by implication, to other relevant factors, on the other hand, "injury" caused by all of these different factors, including increased imports. Through this two stage process, the competent authorities comply with Article 4.2(b) [of the Agreement on Safeguards] by ensuring that any injury to the domestic industry that was actually caused by factors other than increased imports is not "attributed" to increased imports and is, therefore, not treated as if it were injury caused by increased imports, when it is not. In this way, the competent authorities determine, as a final step, whether "the causal link" exists between increased imports and serious injury, and whether this causal link involves a genuine and substantial relationship of cause and effect between these two elements, as required by the Agreement on Safeguards.241

7.115.
In US – Lamb, the Appellate Body clarified that the "three steps" identified in US – Wheat Gluten "simply describe a logical process for complying with the obligations relating to causation", and "are not legal 'tests' mandated by the text of the Agreement on Safeguards".242 The Appellate Body stressed that "the method and approach WTO Members choose to carry out the process of separating the effects of increased imports and the effects of the other causal factors is not specified" in the Agreement on Safeguards, but that whatever methodology is followed "the final identification of the injurious effects caused by increased imports must follow a prior separation of the injurious effects of the different causal factors".243 Moreover, later cases concerning Article 4.2(b) of the Agreement on Safeguards244, Article 3.5 of the Anti‑Dumping Agreement245 and Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement246 have established that no method is prescribed in these provisions for satisfying the requirements of the causation analysis of the type contained in Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.247 We find nothing in either the SCM Agreement or jurisprudence indicating that the three-step methodology described in US – Wheat Gluten is mandatory in any circumstances presented in this case.
7.116.
We therefore reject Pakistan's argument that the Appellate Body report in US – Wheat Gluten prescribes a methodology regarding causation analysis to which the Commission improperly failed to adhere.

7.5.2.3.2 Prejudgment of other known factors

7.117.
Pakistan argues that the Commission's "break the causal link" approach prejudged its non‑attribution analysis. In particular, the approach led to the disregard of "the correct legal standard, … [i.e.] whether the injurious effects of … other factors were such as to render the causal link between the subject imports and the alleged injury too distant, remote or insubstantial" and because the existence of the causal link was "used to dismiss the significance of the non‑attribution factors the Commission purported to analyse".248
7.118.
The Introduction to the Provisional Determination's "Causation" section indicates that the Commission performed a non-attribution analysis to ensure that only injurious effects attributable to subject imports would be considered in establishing a causal link between subject imports and injury to the domestic industry.249 In paragraph 245 of the Provisional Determination, the Commission then "considered" that a causal link existed between the subject imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry. Thereafter, the Commission examined whether other factors "broke the causal link".250 It was only after the analysis of other known factors revealed that they did not do so did the Commission "conclude[] that the imports from the countries concerned … caused material injury to the Union industry".251 It is therefore evident that the Commission allowed for the possibility that the analysis of other known factors could have negated its initial consideration that a causal link existed between subject imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry, as the Commission only made its final identification of the injurious effects caused by subject imports after separating and distinguishing the injurious effects of the other known factors.
7.119.
We do not see how this approach, in this case252, led to the disregard of a relevant legal standard. The Commission's analysis indicates that the Commission's finding that subject imports caused material injury to the domestic industry would be based on effects attributable to subject imports, and not on effects attributable to other known factors. We also do not see how the Commission's approach precluded the Commission from separating and distinguishing the injurious effects of any other known factors from those of the subject imports and from providing a satisfactory explanation of the nature and extent of the injurious effects of other known factors, as distinguished from the injurious effects of the subject imports, in accordance with the non‑attribution requirement of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.253 Pakistan does identify certain purported deficiencies in the Commission's analysis of specific other known factors, discussed below254, and we agree that certain such deficiencies exist. But we see no reason to think that the use of the overall "break the causal link" framework necessarily compelled their occurrence or would preclude their remedy. Indeed, we find further below that the Commission sufficiently separated and distinguished the effects of two known factors, demonstrating that the Commission did not simply "dismiss" the role of other known factors because the Commission had earlier considered that a causal link existed between subject imports and injury to the domestic industry. We further note that certain panel reports addressing issues within the context of non‑attribution and causation – albeit not addressing the specific type of challenge Pakistan asserts here – have appeared to accept the "break the causal link" methodology in a variety of circumstances.255
7.120.
We therefore reject Pakistan's argument that the Commission's "break the causal link" approach precluded the Commission from satisfying the non-attribution requirements of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement in this case.

7.5.2.3.3 The basis on which the finding of the causal link was made

7.121.
In this Section, we examine two arguments put forth by Pakistan concerning the basis on which the Commission found a causal link to exist between subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry. First, Pakistan argues that the Commission conflated the analysis required under Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement with that required under Article 15.2 of the SCM Agreement by equating its findings on the price effects of the subject imports with the existence of a causal link between subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry.256 Second, Pakistan argues that the Commission found a causal link between subject imports and the injury based on nothing more than a "coincidence in time" between increase in volume of subject imports and the deterioration in the condition of the domestic industry.257
7.122.
We reproduce below the most relevant findings of the Commission in the Provisional Determination under the heading "Effects of the subsidized imports", which were made within the overall framework of determining whether a causal link existed between subject imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry:

Between 2006 and the IP, the volume of the subsidised imports of the product concerned increased by more than 5 times to 304 200 tonnes, and their market share increased by almost 8 percentage points (from 2,1% to 10,2%). At the same time, the Union industry lost some 10 percentage points of market share (from 84,9% to 72,1%). The average price of these imports decreased between 2006 and the IP and remained lower than the average price of Union producers.

As indicated above at recital (217), price undercutting of the subsidised imports was on average 3,2%. Even if the price undercutting was below 4%, it cannot be considered as insignificant given that PET is a commodity and competition takes place mainly via price.

In view of the undercutting of Union industry's prices by imports from the countries concerned, it is considered that these subsidised imports exerted a downward pressure on prices, preventing the Union industry from keeping its sales prices to a level that would have been necessary to cover its costs and to realise a profit. Therefore, it is considered that a causal link exists between those imports and the Union industry's injury.258

7.123.
Further, after discussing the effects of other factors, the Commission stated:

The coincidence in time between, on the one hand, the increase in subsidised imports from the countries concerned, the increase in market shares and the undercutting found and, on the other hand, the deterioration in the situation of the Union producers, leads to the conclusion that the subsidised imports caused material injury to the Union industry within the meaning of Article 8(5) of the basic Regulation.259

7.124.
The Final Determination confirmed all such findings.260
7.125.
Thus, in establishing a causal link between subject imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry, the Commission considered: (a) the condition of the domestic industry; (b) price undercutting by subject imports; (c) the fact that "PET is a commodity and competition takes place mainly via price", due to which it attached special significance to price undercutting by subject imports; (d) the observation that subject imports "exerted a downward pressure on prices, preventing the Union industry from keeping its sales prices to a level that would have been necessary to cover its costs and to realise a profit"; (e) the increase in volume of subject imports; and (f) an increase in market shares of subject imports.261
7.126.
We therefore reject Pakistan's arguments that the Commission, in establishing a causal link between subject imports and observed injury to the domestic industry, relied on only the presence of price undercutting by subject imports and/or a coincidence in time between an increase in volume of subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry.262

7.5.2.3.4 Conclusion

7.127.
We thus reject Pakistan's claim that the Commission's use of the "break the causal link" methodology in this case was inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.

7.5.3 The Commission's analysis of "other known factors"

7.128.
Pakistan argues that the Commission failed to perform a proper non-attribution analysis with respect to each of the following four factors:

a. imports from Korea263;

b. economic downturn264;

c. competition from non-cooperating EU producers265; and

d. oil prices.266

7.129.
We recall that Article 15.5 calls for an assessment that involves separating and distinguishing the injurious effects of the other factors from the injurious effects of the subsidized imports and requires a satisfactory explanation of the nature and extent of the injurious effects of the other factors, as distinguished from the injurious effects of the subsidized imports.267 In this Section, we examine Pakistan's arguments concerning the Commission's analysis of each of the four factors identified above in turn.

7.5.3.1 Imports from Korea

7.130.
In its examination of the factor "[i]mports from third countries – Republic of Korea", the Commission addressed, inter alia, the increase in market share and volume of imports from Korea, and the price undercutting by such imports.268 However, in light of the fact that "the Korean prices were higher than the average prices from the countries concerned", the Commission concluded that the contribution of imports from Korea to the injury suffered by the domestic industry "was only limited" and that imports from Korea did not break the causal link between subsidized imports and the injury to the domestic industry.269

7.5.3.1.1 Main arguments of the parties

7.131.
Pakistan puts forth certain arguments which, "individually and together", demonstrate that the Commission failed to separate and distinguish the effects of imports from Korea from those of subject imports within the meaning of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.270 First, Pakistan argues that the Commission did not adequately assess the effects of price undercutting by imports from Korea.271 Second, Pakistan argues that the Commission did not properly assess the growth in volume and market share of imports from Korea.272 Third, Pakistan submits that the Commission failed to assess the correlation between the exemption of certain Korean producers from EU anti‑dumping duties and the increase in volume and market share of Korean imports.273 Fourth, and related to the three arguments above, Pakistan contends that because the price undercutting and increasing volumes of Korean imports had the same effects on the domestic industry as the price and volumes of the subject imports, "the Commission's summary conclusion that the effects of Korean imports were 'limited' was not reasoned and adequate". Therefore, the Commission failed to carry out its duty to separate and distinguish the injurious effects of the Korean imports.274
7.132.
The European Union argues that the Commission's analysis of imports from Korea fully conforms to the requirements of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement because it recognized imports from Korea as possibly causing injury to domestic industry, separated and distinguished the effects of this factor from the effects of subject imports, and provided a qualitative explanation for that conclusion.275

7.5.3.1.2 Evaluation by the Panel

7.133.
In the Provisional Determination, the Commission made the following findings with respect to imports from Korea:

The Republic of Korea is subject to anti-dumping duties since 2000. However, two Korean companies are subject to a zero duty and the investigation established that imports from the Republic of Korea remain at a high level and increased significantly in the period considered. The Korean imports increased by almost 150% between 2006 and the IP and their corresponding market share increased from 3,5% in 2006 to 7,7% in the IP.

The average price of the Korean imports remained in general slightly below the average prices of the Union producers. However, the Korean prices were higher than the average prices from the countries concerned. Consequently, although it cannot be excluded that imports from the Republic of Korea contributed to the injury suffered by the Union industry, their contribution was only limited and they are considered not to have broken the causal link established as regards the subsidised imports from the countries concerned.276

7.134.
We consider that the Commission sufficiently separated and distinguished the effects of Korean imports. The Commission expressly noted that Korean imports undercut the prices of the domestic like product, and increased their volumes277 and market share during the period considered. The Commission considered, however, that any injury caused by Korean imports "was only limited" because subject imports undercut the prices of the domestic like product by more than Korean imports did. This appears a reasonable conclusion in light of the uncontested assertion stated in the Provisional Determination that the EU PET market is characterized by price competition.278 Furthermore, we note that subject imports increased their market share and volume more than imports from Korea did over the period considered, and that in the POI, subject imports had a higher market share (10.2%)279 and volume (304,202 tonnes)280 than the market share (7.7%)281 and volume (231,107 tonnes)282 of imports from Korea.
7.135.
We therefore reject Pakistan's claim that the Commission's analysis of imports from Korea is inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.

7.5.3.2 Economic downturn

7.136.
In the Provisional Determination, the Commission addressed the effects of the 2008 economic downturn on the domestic industry.283 The Commission found that the financial and economic crisis of 2008 led to a market growth that was slower than expected, and that there was a contraction of demand for PET in 2008, which had an effect on the overall performance of the domestic industry.284 However, the Commission reasoned that the negative effects of the economic downturn were exacerbated by the low-priced subsidized imports, as unfair competition from such imports prevented the domestic industry from maintaining an acceptable level of prices.285 The Commission concluded that given the global character of the economic downturn, and the fact that the economic downturn could be considered as having contributed to the injury suffered by the domestic industry only as from the last quarter of 2008, the economic downturn did not break the causal link between subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry.286

7.5.3.2.1 Main arguments of the parties

7.137.
Pakistan argues that the Commission's analysis of the economic downturn fell short of the requirements of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.287 According to Pakistan, since the Commission found, on the one hand, that the domestic demand for PET increased by 11% between 2006 and the POI, and on the other hand, that the 2008 financial crisis brought about a contraction of global demand, the Commission should have sought to ascertain whether, in a situation characterized by shrinking global demand and increased domestic demand, it was the increased competition from domestic as well as importing competitors, which caused injury to the domestic industry.288 Pakistan submits that the "specific factual circumstances" in the challenged investigation warranted a collective analysis of the injurious effects of all other factors.289 Pakistan argues that the Commission did not "separate and distinguish" the injurious effects of the economic downturn from the injurious effects of other known factors.290 Pakistan also contends that the Commission did not substantiate and/or explain its assertion that material injury to the domestic industry occurred before the last quarter of 2008, i.e. the time at which the economic downturn began.291
7.138.
The European Union argues that the Commission properly separated and distinguished the effects of this factor from the injury caused by subject imports by clearly analysing the extent of the injurious impact of the economic downturn, noting how such effects were limited in time, how they are less relevant in the domestic market of the European Union, and how the effects of the economic downturn interact with the effects of the subject imports.292 The European Union submits that there was no need to assess the relevance of imports from Korea and non‑cooperating domestic producers in context of the economic downturn as these factors had been separately assessed.293 The European Union submits that Pakistan has not presented any evidence as to why there existed special circumstances which required the Commission to carry out a collective assessment.294 With respect to Pakistan's claim that the Commission made no finding of injury prior to the last quarter of 2008, the European Union submits that the Commission found injury for the whole period considered, therefore including the period in question.295

7.5.3.2.2 Evaluation by the Panel

7.139.
We first address Pakistan's argument that in light of certain alleged "particularities of global and EU demand" resulting from the economic downturn, the Commission should have examined whether it was increased competition from non-subject imports as well as non‑cooperating EU producers resulting from such alleged demand conditions in the EU market which caused injury to the domestic industry. These particularities consisted of "a decline in the global demand and an increase in the EU demand as a result of the 2008 economic downturn".296 In our view, the record does not reasonably reflect these facts. The only portions of the Determinations to which Pakistan points in support of its argument indicate that the economic downturn caused a decrease in EU demand for PET in 2008, although EU demand appeared to recover in the first half of 2009, i.e. the latter half of the POI:

Union consumption of the product under investigation increased between 2006 and the IP by 11%. In detail, the apparent demand grew in 2007 by 8%, decreased slightly between 2007 and 2008 (by 2 percentage points) and increased by further 5 percentage points between 2008 and the IP.297

The financial and economic crisis of 2008 led to a market growth that was slower than expected and unusual as compared to the beginning of the years 2000 where yearly growth rates around 10% could be observed. For the first time, there was a contraction of demand for PET in 2008. This clearly had an effect on the overall performance of the Union industry.298

7.140.
There is no data, however, in the Determinations evidencing global PET demand. Moreover, the only narrative statement that we detect potentially relating to the state of global PET demand in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn is that the downturn had a "global character".299 This statement suggests, however, that the economic downturn had symmetrical impacts on demand patterns in the European Union and the rest of the world, not the opposite as Pakistan claims.300 Thus, we find that the record does not reasonably reflect the facts upon which Pakistan's argument is based, and we reject it accordingly.
7.141.
We now turn to Pakistan's argument that "'the specific factual circumstances' in the challenged investigation warranted a collective analysis of the injurious effects of all other factors".301 Pakistan's position here appears to be that "as the Commission had found that several other factors had contributed to the injury to the domestic industry during the [POI]", the Commission was required to perform a collective assessment of all other factors causing injury to the domestic industry.302 In our view, Pakistan has not demonstrated that a collective assessment was necessary in this case. Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement does not mention the need to perform such a collective assessment in any particular circumstances. We note, however, the following observation by the Appellate Body in EC – Tube or Pipe Fittings regarding the issue of the collective assessment of other known factors in non-attribution analyses under Article 3.5 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement:

[W]e are of the view that Article 3.5 does not compel, in every case, an assessment of the collective effects of other causal factors, because such an assessment is not always necessary to conclude that injuries ascribed to dumped imports are actually caused by those imports and not by other factors. … At the same time, we recognize that there may be cases where, because of the specific factual circumstances therein, the failure to undertake an examination of the collective impact of other causal factors would result in the investigating authority improperly attributing the effects of other causal factors to dumped imports.303

7.142.
Thus, although there may be circumstances in which a collective assessment is warranted, the simple existence of other known factors that are found to have contributed to the injury to the domestic industry at the same time as subject imports does not on its own amount to such circumstances. Pakistan, however, has pointed to nothing more than that in support of its argument. We therefore reject Pakistan's argument that a collective assessment of other known factors was needed in this case.
7.143.
We now recall Pakistan's argument that the Commission failed to "separate and distinguish" the injurious effects of the economic downturn from the injurious effects of subject imports. In that context, the Commission found that the financial and economic crisis of 2008 "led to a market growth that was slower than expected" and brought about a "contraction of demand" which clearly "had an effect on the overall performance of the [domestic] industry".304 Further, the Commission noted that the domestic industry was "in a situation of decreasing sales" and bore "negative effects of … decrease in the growth of consumption".305 At the same time, the Commission noted that the "increased subsidized imports" "exacerbated" the effects of the economic downturn. The Commission explained that despite decreasing sales and decrease in growth of consumption caused by the economic downturn, the domestic industry "should be able to maintain an acceptable level of prices … but only in the absence of the unfair competition of low priced imports in the market".306 In our view, this observation sufficiently separated and distinguished the injurious effects of the economic downturn (i.e. injury through the effect of decreased demand) from that of subject imports (i.e. injury through the effects of things other than decreased demand307) during the relevant time-period.308 We therefore reject Pakistan's argument that the Commission failed to separate and distinguish the effects of the economic downturn from those of subject imports.
7.144.
We note Pakistan's argument that the Commission's "bald assertion that there existed injury prior to the last quarter of 2008 [was] unsubstantiated".309 We reproduce below the portion of the Provisional Determination relevant in this context:

The economic downturn has also no impact whatsoever on the injury suffered and observed already before the last quarter of 2008.

Consequently, the economic downturn must be considered as an element contributing to the injury suffered by the Union industry as from last quarter of 2008 only and given its global character cannot be considered as a possible cause breaking the causal link between the injury suffered by the Union industry and the subsidised imports from the countries concerned.310

We note that for injury analysis, the Commission made findings regarding the negative performance of the domestic industry over the entire period considered, i.e. 2006 to the end of the POI.311 In light of these findings, we do not view the statements of the Commission quoted above as referring to any injury specifically found to exist prior to the last quarter of 2008. Rather, these statements simply emphasize that any contribution that the economic downturn made to the injury suffered by the domestic industry could only have occurred after the last quarter of 2008. Hence, we reject this argument by Pakistan.312

7.145.
We therefore reject Pakistan's claim that the Commission's analysis of the economic downturn is inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.

7.5.3.3 Competition from non-cooperating producers

7.146.
Certain interested parties argued before the Commission that the injury suffered by the domestic industry was on account of competition from non-cooperating EU producers.313 The Commission noted that one of the producers stopped production in the POI while two others did so shortly thereafter and that these producers lost market share from 20.5% in 2006 to 16% in the POI. The Commission thus concluded that there was no evidence which suggested that "the behaviour of these producers has broken the causal link" between the subject imports and the injury to the domestic industry.314

7.5.3.3.1 Main arguments of the parties

7.147.
Pakistan argues that the Commission failed to conduct a proper non-attribution analysis with respect to the factor "effects of other domestic producers" for two main reasons.315 First, Pakistan argues that by conducting an end-point-to-end-point analysis of market share of non‑cooperating producers, pursuant to which the Commission found that the market share of non-cooperating producers dropped from 20.5% in 2006 to 16% in the POI, the Commission did not factor into its analysis that such producers gained market share from 2008 to the end of the POI.316 Second, Pakistan argues that the fact that the market share and volumes of non‑cooperating producers rose between 2008 and the end of POI, while the market share and volumes of the domestic industry continued to decline should have triggered an inquiry by the Commission into whether other factors such as lack of productivity, or necessary skills, were affecting one sector of the domestic industry more than the other.317
7.148.
The European Union argues that the fact that there was no linear drop in market share in every single part of the period considered does not put its conclusion that competition from non‑cooperating producers did not break the causal link in doubt.318 The European Union also submits that, contrary to what Pakistan appears to suggest in making its arguments in this context, the SCM Agreement does not require the Commission to examine whether the subsidized imports caused injury to non-cooperating producers.319

7.5.3.3.2 Evaluation by the Panel

7.149.
We first address Pakistan's argument that the Commission should have analysed the non‑cooperating producers' market share trends beyond an end-point-to-end-point analysis. We recall that with respect to competition from non-cooperating EU producers, the Commission, in relevant part, observed that these producers' market share declined from 20.5% in 2006 to 16% in the POI.320 The Commission then concluded that the "investigation has not shown any evidence that the behaviour of these producers has broken the causal link between the subsidised imports and the injury established for the Union industry".321 Based on this analysis, we consider that the Commission dismissed the possibility that competition from non-cooperating EU producers caused injury to the domestic industry.322 The end-point-to-end-point analysis of the non‑cooperating producers' market share clearly formed a significant part of the basis for this conclusion.
7.150.
In our view, whether an investigating authority has offered a reasoned and adequate explanation in concluding that a particular factor could not have caused injury to the domestic industry, when that conclusion is significantly based on an end-point-to-end-point analysis of data (in this case, market share data for non-cooperating producers), will depend on the facts of a particular case.323 In this case, we recall that the Provisional Determination presented the market share of non-cooperating producers for 2006, 2007, 2008, and the POI. Their market share decreased during the period considered in every consecutive interval except between 2008 and the POI. The Commission correctly observed that the non‑cooperating EU producers lost 4.5 percentage points of market share during the period considered, i.e. from 20.5% in 2006 to 16% in the POI324, but did not note that between 2008 and the POI their market share rose by 3.6 percentage points, i.e. from 12.4% to 16%.325 We note that the magnitude of the rise in market share of non-cooperating producers between 2008 and the POI was, at least in absolute terms, similar to the drop in market share the Commission observed pursuant to the end‑point‑to‑end‑point analysis. We further note that the rise in market share of non-cooperating producers between 2008 and the POI coincided with: (a) a drop of 8.3 percentage points in the market share of the domestic industry326; (b) a rise of 2.6 percentage points in the market share of subject imports; and (c) a rise in the market shares of non-subject imports (a rise of 1.5 percentage points in market share of Korean producers and of 0.5 percentage points for other imports).327 This indicates that non-cooperating producers, whose market share increased by 3.6 percentage points between 2008 and the POI, were the largest gainers of market share at the domestic industry's expense between 2008 and the POI.328 Moreover, the domestic industry's loss of market share during the period considered was a significant consideration in the Commission's finding that the domestic industry had suffered injury.329 We consider that, under these circumstances, the increase in market share of the non-cooperating producers between 2008 and the POI warranted more specific examination. This increase in market share raises the distinct possibility that competition from non-cooperating producers caused injury to the domestic industry as between 2008 and the POI, which would seem counter to the Commission's unqualified conclusion, significantly based on its end-point-to-end-point analysis, that competition from non-cooperating producers did not cause injury to the domestic industry.330
7.151.
We now recall Pakistan's argument that because the non-cooperating EU producers gained market share while the domestic industry lost market share between 2008 and the POI, the Commission should have inquired into whether instead of subject imports being the cause of injury, it was other factors, such as lack of productivity, or necessary skills, which were affecting one sector of the EU industry more than the other. To the extent that Pakistan argues that the Commission was required to investigate whether and/or why "the alleged injurious effects of the subject imports were markedly uneven"331 across various subsets of the domestic producers, we disagree. We do not see why a comparative examination of how subject imports impacted the cooperating and the non-cooperating parts of the EU industry would be material in determining the impact of competition from non-cooperating producers on the domestic industry.332 Furthermore, insofar as Pakistan argues that there might have been other factors, such as lack of productivity or necessary skills, that caused injury to the domestic industry, Pakistan has not cited evidence indicating that such factors were "known" to the Commission within the meaning of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.333
7.152.
For reasons stated above, we conclude that the Commission's analysis of competition from non-cooperating producers is inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.

7.5.3.4 Oil prices

7.153.
Before the Commission, certain parties argued that "the low prices for PET in the EU reflect the worldwide cycle of the industry and that from September 2008 until June 2009 the PET prices in the EU followed the low prices of crude oil".334 The Commission rejected this argument because, according to the Commission, prices for crude oil were not low during the whole POI but volatile, and such volatility could not explain why PET imports were subsidized and undercut the EU producers' prices.335

7.5.3.4.1 Main arguments of the parties

7.154.
Pakistan argues that the Commission failed to separate and distinguish the injurious effects of oil prices from those of the subject imports because the explanations given by the Commission in dismissing this factor were "unsubstantiated and irrelevant".336 Further, Pakistan argues that the Commission's finding that the prices of crude oil were "volatile" during the POI was not supported by evidence on the record.337 For these reasons, Pakistan submits that the Commission's analysis of oil prices falls short of the requirements of Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.338
7.155.
The European Union submits that the Commission did not find the effects of this factor so significant as to break the causal link between subsidized imports and the observed injury to the domestic industry.339 According to the European Union, this was because oil prices were volatile through the POI, first falling and then recovering, and because prices of crude oil worldwide could be expected to have a symmetrical impact on prices worldwide.340 The European Union submits that a factor that equally or similarly affects both subsidized imports and domestic producers by definition cannot break the causal link.341

7.5.3.4.2 Evaluation by the Panel

7.156.
In the Definitive Determination, the Commission offered the following reasoning:

Some interested parties claimed that any injury found would not be due to subsidised imports, but that the low prices for PET in the EU reflect the worldwide cycle of the industry and that from September 2008 until June 2009 the PET prices in the EU followed the low prices of crude oil. As regards this argument, it is acknowledged that the prices of PET depend to some extent on the prices of crude oil, its derivatives being the main raw material to produce PET. However, prices for crude oil were not low during the whole IP but very volatile, starting with a huge decrease and followed by a recovery. This volatility of world prices of crude oil cannot explain why imports of PET were subsidised and therefore undercut the Union producers' prices. It was precisely this undercutting, made possible due to the subsidies received, that depressed the prices of the Union industry, forcing EU producers to sell at a loss in order not to loose [sic] their clients.342

7.157.
Based on this analysis, we consider that the Commission dismissed the possibility that oil prices caused injury to the domestic industry.343 The Definitive Determination offers two reasons for this dismissal: (a) "prices for crude oil were not low during the whole IP but very volatile, starting with a huge decrease and followed by a recovery"; and (b) such volatility "cannot explain why imports of PET were subsidised and therefore undercut the Union producers' prices".
7.158.
The former reason appears an attempt to reject a factual predicate upon which the parties based their argument, i.e. that prices of crude oil were "low" during part of the POI.344 This attempt fails for two related reasons. First, the Commission's assertion that oil prices were not low during the whole POI is not inconsistent with the parties' presented argument. The parties did not argue that prices of crude oil were "low during the whole IP", but for only part of it, i.e. from September 2008 to June 2009.345 It was only for this period that the parties argued that "the PET prices in the EU followed the low prices of crude oil".346 Thus, the Commission's statement that crude oil prices "were not low during the whole IP"347 accords with the position that prices for crude oil were "low" for part of the POI. Second, the Definitive Determination does not specify for which part of the POI prices were "not low". Rather, it states that prices during the POI were "volatile, starting with a huge decrease and followed by a recovery". In our view, this statement does not necessarily mean that the oil prices were "not low" from September 2008 to June 2009.348 The reasoning offered by the Commission did not, therefore, necessarily invalidate any factual predicate upon which the parties' argument was based.
7.159.
We next consider whether the statement that the "volatility of world prices of crude oil cannot explain why imports of PET were subsidised and therefore undercut the Union producers' prices" adequately explains why oil prices, which the Commission accepted PET prices follow to some degree, were incapable of causing injury to the domestic industry. In our view, it does not. Even if crude oil prices could not explain why Pakistani PET imports were subsidized and undercut the domestic industry's prices, this has no logical bearing on the ability of oil prices, through some other means, to injure the EU domestic PET industry.349 The Commission's analysis in this context, therefore, simply addresses the wrong question.350
7.160.
For reasons stated above, we conclude that the Commission's analysis of oil prices is inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement.351

7.6 CLAIMS REGARDING VERIFICATION VISITS

7.6.1 Introduction

7.161.
On 9 December 2009, the Commission sent a letter to Novatex confirming that the Commission would conduct a verification visit at Novatex's premises in Karachi, Pakistan on 15‑17 December 2009.352 The Commission performed this verification visit. Pakistan claims that the Commission failed to provide the results of this verification visit to Novatex in violation of Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement.353

7.6.2 Main arguments of the parties

7.162.
Pakistan argues that the Commission violated Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement because it failed to provide the "results" of the verification visit by either "mak[ing] the results of [verifications] available, or … provid[ing] disclosure thereof pursuant to paragraph 8 [of Article 12], to the firms to which they pertain".354 Relying on the dictionary definition of the term and certain Appellate Body jurisprudence, Pakistan asserts that the term "results" are the "effects" or "outcomes" of the verification visit, and must be interpreted in light of the conduct, content, and purpose of the visit.355 Given the conduct and purpose of the Commission's verification visit to Novatex, the "results" of that visit would include: (a) descriptions of any additional documents collected by the Commission during the visit; (b) how, and the degree to which, the Commission satisfied itself of the accuracy of information contained in Novatex's questionnaire response during the visit; (c) corrections or additional explanations regarding information in Novatex's questionnaire responses received by the Commission during the visit; (d) descriptions of examination and/or verification of information contained in Novatex's questionnaire response; and (e) any problems the Commission identified with respect to Novatex's questionnaire responses during the verification visit.356 Pakistan claims this interpretation has been confirmed in certain prior panel reports.357 Pakistan asserts that disclosure of such "results" is essential to an exporter's ability to safeguard its due process rights guaranteed under Article 12.3 of the SCM Agreement in a CVD investigation and to seek meaningful judicial review of such determinations pursuant to Article 23 of the SCM Agreement.358 By failing to provide any such "results" in any relevant document – aside from certain references made regarding Novatex's procedures related to the MBS – the Commission violated Article 12.6.
7.163.
The European Union argues that Pakistan's claim must be rejected. The European Union recognizes that Article 12.6 contains two options for providing the results of verification visits, i.ethe investigating authority either "shall make the results of any such investigations available", or "shall provide disclosure thereof pursuant to paragraph 8".359 According to the European Union, the cross-reference to Article 12.8 means that how "results" of verification visits may be communicated to relevant parties should be interpreted in light of the need to disclose "essential facts".360 In short, therefore, the term "results" refers to the essential factual outcome of the verification visit.361 In more concrete terms, the European Union asserts that the "results" of a verification visit "is the summary of the information that was reviewed and checked (verified) during the verification visit, whether such information had been submitted by the company prior to the visit or was newly obtained by the authority during the verification visit". The European Union further asserts that the "summary does not have to individually describe each single document reviewed but may generically refer to 'bundles' of documents regarding a certain topic". Additionally, "[t]o the extent information regarding the verification visit is indispensable for due process purposes (e.g. for the use of facts available), results may also include such additional information (e.g. information that was refused access to it [sic])".362 Thus, although the two are not identical, the disclosure of "essential facts" under Article 12.8 will reflect, to a significant degree if not completely, the "results" of verification visits. For instance, the European Union asserts that insofar as an investigating authority is unable to verify certain necessary information as a result of a verification visit, the investigated firm would learn of this by virtue of the investigating authority's reliance on facts available under Article 12.7 of the SCM Agreement, reliance that would be reflected in the disclosure of the essential facts under Article 12.8. If the investigating authority does not rely on facts available, then this would indicate that such necessary information had been verified. Through the Article 12.8 disclosure, therefore, relevant parties will learn of the "outcomes" of verification visits and allow those parties to structure their cases and protect their interests before investigating authorities accordingly.363 The European Union further denies that prior jurisprudence supports Pakistan's arguments.
7.164.
The European Union argues that the Commission complied with its relevant obligations here because, as reflected in the record, the Commission disclosed the "essential facts" under consideration to Novatex in the form of the provisional and definitive disclosure documents, and allowed Novatex to respond to such disclosures. The European Union also asserts that other means exist by which investigated producers like Novatex could become aware of the "outcomes" of verification visits. For instance, the European Union asserts that investigated companies, including Novatex, have representatives present during verification visits, and at the end of verification visits the Commission and verified producers agree on a list of documents collected during the visit, and thus investigated producers will always know what was and what was not checked and collected during a visit.364 The European Union also argues that there is nothing to suggest that Novatex's ability to defend its interests in the investigation was compromised by any alleged failure of the Commission to disclose the results of the verification visit.365

7.6.3 Relevant legal considerations

7.165.
Article 12 of the SCM Agreement provides, in relevant part:

12.6 The investigating authorities may carry out investigations in the territory of other Members as required, provided that they have notified in good time the Member in question and unless that Member objects to the investigation. Further, the investigating authorities may carry out investigations on the premises of a firm and may examine the records of a firm if (a) the firm so agrees and (b) the Member in question is notified and does not object. The procedures set forth in Annex VI shall apply to investigations on the premises of a firm. Subject to the requirement to protect confidential information, the authorities shall make the results of any such investigations available, or shall provide disclosure thereof pursuant to paragraph 8, to the firms to which they pertain and may make such results available to the applicants.

12.8 The authorities shall, before a final determination is made, inform all interested Members and interested parties of the essential facts under consideration which form the basis for the decision whether to apply definitive measures. Such disclosure should take place in sufficient time for the parties to defend their interests.366

7.6.4 Evaluation by the Panel

7.166.
This Section proceeds in three parts. First, it examines the relevant legal standard under Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement. Second, it applies that legal standard to the case at hand. Finally, it concludes.

7.6.4.1 Legal standard under Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement

7.167.
If an investigating authority conducts a verification visit at a firm during a CVD investigation367, Article 12.6, in relevant part, indicates that the authority "shall" do one of two things: (a) make the results of the verification visit available to the firm concerned; or (b) disclose such results pursuant to Article 12.8 to the firm concerned. Both options, therefore, require the provision of the "results" of verification visits to the investigated firm. This Section, therefore, turns to examining the meaning of this term.
7.168.
Neither Article 12 of the SCM Agreement nor any other provision of the SCM Agreement defines the "results" of verification visits. Moreover, this term is not defined in a relevant manner in any other covered agreement (e.g. the Anti-Dumping Agreement) and has not yet been extensively defined in any adopted panel or Appellate Body report.368 A "result" is defined, however, as "[a] consequence, effect, or conclusion", "[t]hat which is achieved, brought about, or obtained, esp. by purposeful action"369, and "[t]he effect, consequence … or outcome of some action, process, or design".370 We therefore interpret the results of verification visits, for purposes of Article 12.6, as referring to what the "outcomes" of verification visits are, i.e. what is achieved, brought about, or obtained via the visit. Because such outcomes are achieved particularly through "purposeful action" and through some "process or design", we further interpret the term "results" as used in Article 12.6 in light of the purpose of verification visits.
7.169.
Regarding that purpose, it will be recalled that Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement indicates that "[t]he procedures set forth in Annex VI shall apply to" verification visits. Annex VI is entitled "Procedures for on-the-spot Investigations pursuant to Paragraph 6 of Article 12". Paragraph 7 explains that "the main purpose of the on-the-spot investigation is to verify information provided or to obtain further details".371 It further explains that "it should be standard practice prior to the visit to advise the firms concerned of the general nature of the information to be verified and of any further information which needs to be provided, though this should not preclude requests to be made on the spot for further details to be provided in the light of information obtained."372 The word "verify" is defined as "[t]o prove to be true; to confirm or establish the truth or truthfulness of; to authenticate"373, "[s]how to be true by demonstration or evidence; confirm the truth or authenticity of; substantiate", and "[a]scertain or test the accuracy or correctness of, esp. by examination or comparison of data … check or establish by investigation".374 The main purpose of verification is, therefore, to enable investigating authorities to confirm the accuracy of information supplied.375 It follows, therefore, that the "results" of a verification visit should reflect the extent to which information supplied was ascertained to be accurate.
7.170.
Other provisions of the SCM Agreement provide contextual support for this interpretation. In particular, Article 12.5 of the SCM Agreement, which immediately precedes Article 12.6, provides that "the authorities shall during the course of an investigation satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the information supplied by interested Members or interested parties upon which their findings are based." Verification visits appear a means by which to accomplish this general obligation vis-à-vis the information supplied.376 We conclude, therefore, that the "results" of a verification visit should reflect the "outcomes" of the process of verifying information supplied. The most notable such information in the case of verification visits to an investigated firm will, in our view, be information contained in its questionnaire response.
7.171.
We further note certain statements in previous adopted panel reports discussing Article 6.7 of the Anti-Dumping Agreement, which is analogous to Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement in this context. In particular, although the context in which the issue arose differs somewhat from the present dispute, the panel report in Korea – Certain Paper stated:

[T]he purpose of … Article 6.7 is to make sure that exporters, and to a certain extent other interested parties, are informed of the verification results and can therefore structure their cases for the rest of the investigation in light of those results. It is therefore important that such disclosure contain adequate information regarding all aspects of the verification, including a description of the information which was not verified as well as of information which was verified successfully. This is because, in our view, information which was verified successfully, just as information which was not verified, could well be relevant to the presentation of the interested parties' cases.377

7.172.
At this point, we consider it appropriate to recall that the European Union advocates that the Panel interpret the term "results" of verification visits in light of Article 12.8 and its obligation to disclose "essential facts". In other words, because Article 12.6 allows communication of results of verification visits "pursuant to" Article 12.8, Article 12.8 should substantively bear on what constitutes disclosure of "results" in Article 12.6. We consider that, contrary to the European Union's position, the cross-reference to Article 12.8 in Article 12.6 does not reflect a substantive relationship of this nature between the two provisions for four main reasons:

a. First, the SCM Agreement contains the obligation to communicate results of verification visits, on the one hand, and disclose essential facts, on the other hand, in different and non-sequential provisions (i.e. Article 12.6 and Article 12.8, respectively). This indicates the two provisions are substantively distinct.

b. Second, only the second of the two communication options in Article 12.6 cross‑references Article 12.8, but both options require the provision of the same thing, i.e. the "results" of verification visits. It thus appears unreasonable to us to interpret Article 12.8 as substantively modifying the term "results" in the manner proposed by the European Union under either both options, as only one refers to Article 12.8, or only under the second option, in which case the concept of a disclosed "result" would fundamentally differ in the two instances.378 We believe, rather, the more reasonable position is that the term "result" should be interpreted consistently in Article 12.6.

c. Third, the only limitation on the scope of "results" in Article 12.6 is that the information pertains to a verification visit. In contrast, the scope of disclosure under Article 12.8 is limited to "essential facts under consideration which form the basis for the decision whether to apply definitive measures".379 This indicates that the results of verification visits are neither limited to the "essential" results of such investigations nor limited to facts that form the basis ofthe decision to impose definitive CVDs.380

d. Fourth, it will be recalled that Article 12.6 provides that the investigating authority "may make such results available to the applicants." The "essential facts", however, must be disclosed to all interested parties, which include the applicants. It would appear odd, therefore, for Article 12.6 to broach the possibility of providing "results" of verification visits to applicants if the applicants would receive disclosure thereof upon receipt of the "essential facts". This further indicates the substantive separateness of the two provisions.

7.173.
If the connection between Articles 12.6 and 12.8 is not substantive, however, this begs the question as to what the cross-reference to Article 12.8 in Article 12.6 means. We conclude that the presence of the two communication options in Article 12.6 clarifies two main procedural aspects regarding the provision of results of verification visits:

a. First, the two communication options in Article 12.6 make clear that there is flexibility regarding how to communicate the results of verification visits. The first option for communicating results of verification visits in Article 12.6 is to "make … available" such results. The second option is to "provide disclosure thereof" pursuant to Article 12.8. The use of different terms in describing how the "results" of verification visits may be communicated suggests that the two reflect different methods in which this may be accomplished.381 We therefore note that it is undisputed that providing a separate verification report is a means by which to satisfy the first disclosure option in Article 12.6, i.e. to "make … available" the results of verification visits.382 Disclosing such results pursuant to Article 12.8, however, suggests that the means used to disclose essential facts is also the procedural vehicle by which to communicate such results, i.e. the disclosure of the results of verification visits may accompany the disclosure of the essential facts. This method may well not involve the provision of a separate report.

b. Second, the two options make clear that there is flexibility regarding when to communicate results of verification visits. If only the first option were present in Article 12.6, the question may arise as to when the results should be made available, perhaps leading to an interpretation that communication had to occur relatively soon after the visit. If only the second option were present in Article 12.6, it would appear to limit the investigating authority's discretion to communicate the results of verification visits before the disclosure of essential facts. Including both options, therefore, indicates that investigating authorities might make the results known relatively soon after the verification visit occurs, but if it wishes, it could wait as late as the disclosure of essential facts to do so.

7.174.
We conclude, therefore, that the two communication options in Article 12.6 clarify that there is flexibility regarding how and when to communicate results of verification visits to relevant parties. The task still remains, however, to formulate an understanding of what the term "results" of verification visits means such that we may effectively apply this term in the case at hand. We formulate this understanding in light of three main considerations:

a. First, the purpose of verification visits, which, as discussed above, indicates that the results should reflect the "outcomes" of the process of verifying information supplied. Relatedly, and further regarding the scope of such "outcomes", we recall that one adopted panel report has explained that it is important that"such disclosure contain adequate information regarding all aspects of the verification, including a description of the information which was not verified as well as of information which was verified successfully".383

b. Second, the pervasive theme in the SCM Agreement of maintaining a record regarding interactions between the investigating authority and parties particularly as to the exchange of evidence. In this respect we note that the SCM Agreement places strong emphasis on the provision of written information and the reduction of evidence given orally to writing384, and also provides that "[a]ny decision of the investigating authorities can only be based on such information and arguments as were on the written record of this authority".385

c. Third, and relatedly, the rights of the parties to an investigation. As the panel in Korea – Certain Paper indicated, receiving relatively particularized information regarding the results of verification visits may bear on parties' due process rights by affecting how the parties structure their cases and the effectiveness of judicial review.386

7.175.
Our analysis indicates a minimum standard under Article 12.6 encompassing the provision of specific enough disclosures as to allow the interested parties to discern387:

a. the information in the questionnaire response or other information supplied for which supporting evidence was requested, and whether such evidence was provided;

b. whether the investigating authority requested further information at the verification visit, and whether such information was provided;

c. whether the investigating authority collected requested documents, and if so what documents388; and

d. whether the investigating authorities verified the information for which supporting evidence was requested. This is not to say, however, that the results of the verification visit must necessarily include conclusions as to the ultimate suitability of the data checked for use in a final determination in the investigation.

7.176.
It would appear unnecessary, however, for investigating authorities to address all arguments and evidence presented during the verification or to prepare minutes of the verification. Based on the above discussion, we must therefore disagree with the European Union that the "results" of verification visits are only the essential factual outcomes of the verification.
7.177.
With this in mind, we turn to consider whether the Commission complied with its obligation to provide the results of the Novatex verification visit.

7.6.4.2 Whether the Commission provided the results of the Novatex verification visit to Novatex

7.178.
It will be recalled that the Commission conducted a verification visit at Novatex in Karachi on 17-19 December 2009. The European Union argues that it complied with Article 12.6 because it disclosed the results of this visit to Novatex via the second communication option in Article 12.6, i.e. "in the context of the disclosure of the essential facts".389 We therefore discuss the relevant disclosure documents of the investigation below to determine to what degree they contain the "results" of the verification visit.
7.179.
On 1 June 2010, the Commission sent a letter to Novatex that, along with its enclosures, "constitute[d] disclosure of the essential facts and considerations on the basis of which the European Commission has imposed provisional countervailing duties".390 The enclosures were: (a) a copy of the Provisional Determination; (b) explanations regarding subsidy calculations concerningNovatex; (c) explanations regarding undercutting and underselling calculations concerning Novatex; and (d) explanations regarding comments on initiation. In the Provisional Determination, the Commission explained that "[t]he Commission sought and verified all information deemed necessary for the determination of subsidisation, resulting injury and Union interest", and confirmed that the Commission had conducted the verification visit at Novatex.391 The Provisional Determination made certain statements pertaining to the degree to which the Commission verified the effectiveness of the procedures relating to Novatex's import-duty remissions obtained under the MBS during the visit.392 Pakistan accepts that such discussions contain some of the "outcomes" of the verification visit to Novatex, and we see no reason to disagree.393 Beyond such statements, however, the European Union points to, and we discern, no other content of the letter and its enclosures that specifically discuss the visit.
7.180.
On 26 July 2010, the Commission sent a letter to Novatex that, along with its enclosures, "constitute[d] disclosure of the essential facts and considerations on the basis of which it is intended to recommend the imposition of definitive anti-subsidy duties".394 The enclosures were: (a) explanations of definitive subsidy and injury methodology and calculations; (b) explanations of definitive subsidy and undercutting-underselling calculations; and (c) a general disclosure document, i.e. a draft of the Definitive Determination. The general disclosure document again made reference to verification of Novatex's procedures relating to the MBS that the Provisional Determination had previously indicated occurred at the visit. Again, we accept that such content contains "outcomes" of the verification visit. Beyond such statements, however, the European Union points to, and we discern, no other content of the letter and its enclosures that specifically discuss the visit.395
7.181.
Thus, the "results" that were provided to Novatex via the disclosure documents related only to certain observations concerning the MBS. We cannot find that this constituted adequate provision of the "results" of the verification visit to Novatex. Such limited discussions fail to sufficiently communicate the information in the questionnaire response or other information supplied for which supporting evidence396 was requested (and whether such evidence was provided), whether the Commission requested further information at the verification visit (and whether such information was provided), what comprised the universe of documents the Commission collected, and whether the Commission confirmed the accuracy of the information for which supporting evidence was requested.397

7.6.4.3 Conclusion

7.182.
In accordance with our reasoning above, we find that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement because it failed to adequately provide the "results" of the Novatex verification visit to Novatex.

8 FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

8.1.
For the reasons set forth in this Report, the Panel concludes as follows:

a. In respect of the European Union's objections under

Article 6.2 of the DSU:

i

. the Panel finds that Pakistan's claim that the Commission acted inconsistently with Annex II(II)(1) and/or Annex III(II)(2) of the SCM Agreement "because it failed to examine the 'generally accepted commercial [practices]' prevailing in Pakistan when examining the verification system and procedures under the MBS" is outside the Panel's terms of reference as the panel request failed to present the problem clearly;

ii. the Panel rejects the European Union's objection to Pakistan's claim under Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement, and thus finds that this claim is within the Panel's terms of reference;

iii. the Panel rejects the European Union's objection to Pakistan's claim under Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement, and thus finds that this claim is within the Panel's terms of reference; and

iv. the Panel finds that the remaining objections raised by the European Union have become moot and therefore the Panel does not address them.

b. In respect of Pakistan's claims regarding the MBS:

i. the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 1.1(a)(1)(ii) of the SCM Agreement by failing to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation for why the entire amount of remitted duties was "in excess of those which have accrued" within the meaning of footnote 1 of the SCM Agreement;

ii. the Panel finds that the Commission also acted inconsistently with Article 3.1(a) of the SCM Agreement by improperly finding the existence of a "subsidy" that was contingent on export performance; and

iii. the Panel exercises judicial economy or finds that, for other reasons, it need not address Pakistan's claims that the Commission: (a) failed to investigate whether Pakistan's duty drawback system verification mechanisms were based on generally accepted commercial practices in Pakistan; (b) failed to provide Pakistan with the opportunity to assist the Commission's determination of the excess amount; (c) failed to take into account evidence regarding the amount of any excess drawback; (d) failed to make normal allowance for waste; (e) violated Annexes II(II) and III(II) "as a whole"; (f) violated Annex I(i); (g) violated Articles 1.1(b), 10, 19, and 32 of the SCM Agreement; and (h) violated Article VI of the GATT 1994.

c. In respect of Pakistan's claims regarding the LTF-EOP:

i. the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement by failing to properly identify what Novatex would have paid on a "comparable commercial loan" in calculating the benefit conferred by the LTF-EOP Loan;

ii. the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 1.1(b) of the SCM Agreement as a consequence of having acted inconsistently with Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement;

iii. the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with the chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement by failing to transparently and adequately explain how it identified a "comparable commercial loan"; and

iv. the Panel exercises judicial economy in respect of Pakistan's claims that as a result of violating Article 14(b) of the SCM Agreement and/or the chapeau of Article 14 of the SCM Agreement, the Commission acted inconsistently with Articles 10, 19 and 32 of the SCM Agreement, and Article VI of the GATT 1994.

d. In respect of Pakistan's claims under Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement:

i. the Panel finds that Pakistan failed to establish that the Commission's use of the "break the causal link" methodology in this case was inconsistent with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement;

ii. the Panel finds that Pakistan failed to establish that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement by failing to conduct a proper non-attribution analysis of imports from Korea;

iii. the Panel finds that Pakistan failed to establish that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement by failing to conduct a proper non-attribution analysis of the economic downturn;

iv. the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement with respect to its analysis of competition from non-cooperating producers; and

v. the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 15.5 of the SCM Agreement with respect to its analysis of oil prices.

e. In respect of Pakistan's claim under Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement, the Panel finds that the Commission acted inconsistently with Article 12.6 of the SCM Agreement because it failed to adequately provide the "results" of the Novatex verification visit to Novatex.

8.2.
Under Article 3.8 of the DSU, in cases where there is an infringement of the obligations assumed under a covered agreement, the action is considered prima facie to constitute a case of nullification or impairment. We conclude that, to the extent that the measures at issue have been found to be inconsistent with the SCM Agreement, they have nullified or impaired benefits accruing to Pakistan under that agreement. The European Union asserts that because the challenged measures in this dispute expired, the measures cannot nullify or impair Pakistan's rights under the WTO agreements. The European Union thus considers that it has rebutted the presumption of nullification or impairment referenced in Article 3.8 of the DSU.398 We reject the European Union's argument. Because the expiry of the measures had no retroactive effect, such expiry cannot eliminate any nullification or impairment existing at the time of the Panel's establishment.399 Moreover, the legal status of a measure and the presence of actual impacts resulting from its WTO-inconsistency are, in our view, conceptually distinct and should not be equated without further evidence.400 Further, we do not know what the condition of the EU PET market would be if the WTO-inconsistent measures had not been imposed.401
8.3.
Given that the measures at issue in this dispute have expired, we make no recommendation to the DSB pursuant to Article 19.1 of the DSU.402
Whole document
para.
Click on the text to select an element Click elsewhere to unselect an element
Select a key word :
1 /

Instantly access the most relevant case law, treaties and doctrine.

Start your Free Trial

Already registered ?