Text: H.Res.27 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (01/31/2001)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 27 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 27

 Strongly urging the President to file a complaint at the World Trade 
Organization against oil-producing countries for violating trade rules 
   that prohibit quantitative limitations on the import or export of 
                 resources or products across borders.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 31, 2001

 Mr. DeFazio submitted the following resolution; which was referred to 
                    the Committee on Ways and Means

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
 Strongly urging the President to file a complaint at the World Trade 
Organization against oil-producing countries for violating trade rules 
   that prohibit quantitative limitations on the import or export of 
                 resources or products across borders.

 Whereas no free market exists in oil production because of collusion among 
        large oil-producing countries;
Whereas the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other 
        oil-producing countries have repeatedly agreed to coordinated cutbacks 
        in production, thus manipulating world oil markets, resulting in de 
        facto price fixing;
Whereas this manipulation led to the highest price per barrel of oil in nearly a 
        decade, substantial increases in consumer prices for items such as home 
        heating oil and gasoline, and continued price volatility;
Whereas rising oil prices greatly harm consumers, farmers, small businesses, and 
        manufacturers, increase the likelihood of inflation, increase the cost 
        of conducting interstate and international commerce, and pose a strong 
        threat to continued economic growth;
Whereas article XI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) 
        prohibits members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from setting 
        quantitative restrictions on the import or export of resources or 
        products across their borders; specifically the language reads ``No 
        prohibitions or restrictions other than duties, taxes or other charges, 
        whether made effective through quotas, import or export licenses or 
        other measures, shall be instituted or maintained by any contracting 
        party on the importation of any product of the territory of any other 
        contracting party or on the exportation or sale for export of any 
        product destined for the territory of any other contracting party.'';
Whereas the precise meaning of this provision was spelled out in a GATT Panel 
        Report issued in 1988 entitled ``Japan--Trade in Semi-conductors'', 
        which noted, ``. . . this wording [in article XI] was comprehensive: it 
        applied to all measures instituted or maintained by a contracting party 
        prohibiting or restricting the importation, exportation or sale for 
        export of products other than measures that take the form of duties, 
        taxes, or other charges . . . This wording indicated clearly that any 
        measure instituted or maintained by a contracting party which restricted 
        the exportation or sale for export of products was covered by this 
        provision, irrespective of the legal status of the measure.'';
Whereas oil production restrictions clearly qualify as a ``quantitative 
        restriction'' based on the original WTO rules and the 1988 GATT panel 
        report, which certify that only ``duties, taxes or other charges'' are 
        allowable, not pacts among countries to limit production of a product 
        for export;
Whereas article XX of GATT 1994, which sets out a series of exceptions to 
        article XI, notes that none of the exceptions are valid if they are 
        ``applied in a manner which would constitute . . . a disguised 
        restriction on international trade'', a phrase which describes OPEC's 
        production restrictions;
Whereas of the 11 OPEC countries, 6 are members of the WTO (Kuwait, Indonesia, 
        Nigeria, Qatar, Venezuela, and United Arab Emirates), 2 have observer 
        status and have applied to join the WTO (Saudi Arabia and Algeria), and 
        only 3 have no relationship with the WTO (Libya, Iran, and Iraq);
Whereas of the remaining large oil-producing countries, Mexico and Norway are 
        members of the WTO, and Russia and Oman have applied for membership; and
Whereas given the substantial WTO membership and pending membership of oil-
        producing countries, filing a complaint would likely have an immediate 
        impact on the current and future behavior of these countries: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the Congress strongly urges the President of the 
United States to file a complaint in the World Trade Organization 
against oil-producing countries for violating their obligations under 
the rules of that organization.
                                 <all>