Washington, DC – The Office of the United States Trade Representative today announced the formation of a new Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office, as envisioned by Article 7.2.2 of the Phase One economic and trade agreement signed by the United States and China on January 15, 2020. This office will monitor China’s implementation of its commitments under the Phase One agreement and will be responsible for working with China’s corresponding Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office to address disputes that arise over implementation matters.
Ambassador Jeffrey Gerrish will serve as the “designated Deputy United States Trade Representative” heading the new Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office in accordance with Article 7.2.2(a) of the Phase One agreement. Interested parties may raise their concerns about implementation matters under the Phase One agreement by calling 202-395-3900.
Chapter 7 of the U.S.-China Phase One economic and trade agreement sets forth an arrangement to ensure the effective implementation of the agreement and to allow the parties to resolve disputes in a fair and expeditious manner.
This arrangement requires regular bilateral meetings to discuss implementation matters, with the parties meeting on a monthly basis at the “designated official” level, on a quarterly basis at the Deputy United States Trade Representative-Vice Minister level, and on a semi-annual basis at the United States Trade Representative-Vice Premier level.
Separately, the arrangement also establishes strong procedures for addressing disputes related to the agreement. A party can formally initiate a dispute by submitting an “Appeal” to the other party’s Bilateral Evaluation and Dispute Resolution Office. Consultations then take place in an attempt to resolve the dispute, first at the “designated official” level and then, if needed, at the Deputy United States Trade Representative-Vice Minister level and finally at the United States Trade Representative-Vice Premier level. If the dispute is not resolved through these consultations, the complaining party is allowed to take proportionate responsive action that it deems appropriate after providing advance notice to the party complained against. The entire dispute resolution process will take approximately 90 days. In addition, it has been expressly agreed that the complaining party in a dispute is not required to include information that could identify any company at issue or confidential business information.
The Phase One agreement enters into effect today, February 14, 2020. The text of that agreement can be found here.