STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. RODOLFO REYES RODRÍGUEZ, AMBASSADOR OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF CUBA, ON SECTION 211 OF THE WTO’S DISPUTE SETTLEMENT BODY (DSB). 24 MAY 2011
Nine years have passed since this Body decided Section 211 was incompatible with the TRIPS Agreement. The United States present today its status report number 102. These evidences show very clear the disdain of the Government to the WTO rules it purports to support. We believe that no Member has the slightest doubt about it.
It is symptomatic that every month, not only in this Room, this country receives the open criticism from many delegations. In recent years there has been direct and indirect reference to the United States due to their intransigent stance in the Doha Round for making excessive demands of developing countries, which do not correspond with what they are willing to offer.
There can be no discrepancy between the DSB regular meetings and the rest of the work of this Organization now that we are engaged in negotiations to improve the Dispute Settlement Understanding (classified by some as the diamond in the crown). This case would be a good example of reference for the establishment of regulations aimed at avoiding absurd situations of non-compliance. An improved mechanism would be a useful tool in the service of all Members, large and small, to resolve any trade dispute.
The full repeal of Section 211 is the step that should quickly take the U.S. authorities and not continue maneuvering to make excuses for their systematic violations of the international law. Can the Government of that country claim the right to be governed by codes different from the ones it undertook to respect, when it signed an Agreement which underpins the very existence of the WTO?
Why continue admitting the non-compliance by a Member of the rules of this Organization when, although still not perfect, they required much effort and time to build them?
Breaking of rules undermines the objectives of the Multilateral Trading System. The prolonged failure and the hackneyed and meaningless status report without the slightest desire to approach reality, discredit both the United States and its whole System.
It is not possible to further delay a decision entirely consistent with the main foundations of the very rhetoric of the U.S. Government in the field of intellectual property.
Our country will continue to demand the urgent and resolute action to end this dispute, whose substrate includes the illegal Section 211, which has served – without the slightest ethic or legality- , to strip a Cuban-French Company of its lawful rights over HAVANA CLUB trademark in the U.S. territory.
Thank you very much