A trade dispute arises when a member government believes another member government is violating an agreement or a commitment that it has made in the World Trade Organization (WTO). WTO members adopted a WTO agreement for the settlement of disputes – The Dispute Settlement Understanding (DSU). A Dispute Settlement Body and an Appellate Body were created to remediate a dispute through arbitrage. The Rules of Conduct on rules and procedures for settling disputes were adopted in December 1996.
Since the founding of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in 1947 and its successor the WTO in 1995, the United States and the European Union have been involved in a large number of disputes, many of which against each other. Most notorious were the hormone (DS26), the banana (DS16 and DS158) and the biotech dispute (DS291). More recent and pending disputes by the United States against the EU on agricultural issues include the corn gluten feed dispute (DS223 from 2001) and the poultry dispute (DS389 from 2009). Disputes can be easily found by country, by subject or chronologically on the WTO website.