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Dispute Settlement Body 16 September 2002

Panel on EC steel restrictions established

At its meeting on 16 September 2002, the Dispute Settlement Body established a panel to examine the European Communities' provisional safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products.

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This summary has been prepared by the WTO Secretariat’s Information and Media Relations Division to help public understanding about developments in WTO disputes. It is not a legal interpretation of the issues, and it is not intended as a complete account of the issues. These can be found in the reports themselves and in the minutes of the Dispute Settlement Body’s meetings.

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Panel established

DS260: European Communities — Provisional safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products

The United States made its second request for the establishment of a panel. The US restated that the EC’s safeguard measures were inconsistent with WTO rules – notably because the EC had imposed measures without following the investigatory process and without clear evidence that increased imports were causing or threatening to cause serious injury.

The EC said that it deplored the US’ decision and insisted on the fact that the provisional safeguards had been implemented in response to US protectionist action of 5 March 2002, as a safety net against the highly probable diversion of the steel trade barred from the US market.

Argentina commented that its exports had been affected by the provisional measure in question. Argentina added that it had just learned that the EC was planning to adopt a definitive safeguard measure on seven categories of products, of which two were products exported by Argentina. Argentina thus expressed its concern and said that it was still studying the EC measures and did not exclude any option.

The panel was established.

The following Members requested to be third parties: Egypt, Japan and Korea.


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Next meeting

The next regular meeting of the DSB will take place on 1st October 2002.

There will be a special meeting of the DSB on 24 September 2002 to adopt the second report on the review of implementation by Canada in “Canada's measures affecting the importation of milk and the exportation of dairy products” (DS103/113). The meeting will not take place if the report is appealed

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