Volume 76, Number 4

October 2001

Hardened Positions: Guatemala Cement and WTO Review of National Antidumping Determinations

David A. Yocis

When the World Trade Organization (WTO) came into being in 1995, it brought promises of international dispute resolution procedures that would supplant those in place from the General Agreement on Tarriffs and Trade. A series of decisions by WTO dispute resolution bodies concerning antidumping duties, however, have called into question their ability to provide dispute resolution in accordance with traditional legal norms. In this Note, David Yocis uses two decisions regarding antidumping duties on foreign cement in Guatemala–a Panel decision and a subsequent Appellate Body reversal on a procedural technicality–to illustrate that WTO procedures continue to reflect a preference for diplomatic rather than legal, means of dispute resolution. He concludes that, while the WTO dispute settlement system is an important step forward in the process of building a law-based system of international trade, it remains, in significant ways, more constrained by diplomacy than a truly independent judiciary.