The Faroe Islands' WTO complaint against the EU related to herring is going to be really interesting. We might finally get some guidance on an issue I find challenging: How to deal with "coercive economic measures." Here's how the panel request in the case starts:
1. On 4 November 2013, the Kingdom of Denmark in respect of the Faroe Islands ("the4. In response to the Faroe Islands' decision to set a catch limit of 105 230 tonnes for Atlanto-Scandian herring, the European Union has adopted coercive economic measures against the Faroe Islands. It has prohibited the introduction into the territory of the Union of certain products of Atlanto-Scandian herring and Northeast Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) caught under the control of the Faroe Islands; and it has prohibited from EU ports any vessels flying the flag of the Faroe Islands that fish for Atlanto-Scandian herring or Northeast Atlantic mackerel and any vessels transporting fish or fish products stemming from Atlanto-Scandian herring or Northeast Atlantic mackerel that have been caught either by vessels flying the flag of the Faroe Islands or by other vessels authorized by the Faroe Islands while flying the flag of a third country.
Faroe Islands") requested consultations with the European Union concerning the use by the
European Union of coercive economic measures in relation to Atlanto-Scandian herring (Clupea
There are no WTO provisions that are explicitly designed to address the problem of such measures, so the issue becomes how to apply more general provisions to measures that are defined by some as "coercive." The facts of the Herring case make me think that this could be the clearest case ever on such issues. Nevertheless, it occurs to me that we could probably use some provisions that have been developed just for this problem.