Trade concerns relating to TBT may be addressed by concerned countries through different fora. In the WTO, Members may raise these concerns in the TBT Committee or by formally initiating a dispute under the WTO dispute settlement system (DSM). The options are not mutually exclusive and Members may go for either or both options simultaneously or one after the other. In the last decade, approximately 6% of matters raised in the Committee eventually became the subject of a formal dispute under the WTO DSM.

The decision to raise a specific trade concern in the Committee or to formally initiate a trade dispute usually involves a prior comprehensive assessment – a combination of legal, political and economic analyses. The concerned government also needs to carefully evaluate and consider which forum would best address the specific trade concern, while taking into account factors such as litigation costs, predictability of the dispute settlement system and other practical considerations. This session will discuss practical aspects of pre-litigation assessment in addressing TBT trade concerns.


Mr. Niall Meagher, ACWL: ACWL’s role in assisting countries in trade dispute avoidance and in WTO dispute settlement proceedings. 

Mr. Simon Schropp, Sidley Austin LLP: To sue or not to sue - economic assessment for litigation decisions.

Ms. Leticia Ramírez, Mexico: Forum selection for settling TBT trade disputes.

Ms. Mardhiah Farid, Indonesia: From TBT Committee to WTO DSM, the case of Indonesia.