SAFEGUARD MEASURES

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Notifications of various safeguard (SG) actions received since the committee's April 2021 meeting regarding 32 products were reviewed and a number of general issues were raised at the meeting, which was chaired by Ms Mary Lisa Madell (United Kingdom).

Japan, China and Australia reiterated general concern about the large number of safeguard actions taken, while the United States underlined the importance of transparency in legislative notifications. In comments on the safeguard actions reviewed, several members raised concerns about the impact of safeguards on global trade and supply chains and the importance of strictly adhering to WTO disciplines on the use of safeguards. They recalled that this instrument was intended to address emergency situations.

Under the WTO rules, a member may apply measures to imports of a product temporarily (take “safeguard” actions) through higher tariffs or other measures if it determines through an investigation that increased imports of a product are causing or threatening to cause serious injury to its domestic industry. Unlike anti-dumping duties, safeguard measures cover imports from all sources, although imports from developing country members with a small share of imports are exempted through special and differential treatment provisions.

Review of legislative notifications

The committee reviewed notifications of new or amended SG legislation or regulations from India, Mongolia and the United Kingdom and continued its review of the legislative notifications of Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

Specific notification of safeguard actions

Notifications of various safeguard actions from the following members were reviewed by the committee:  Costa Rica; the European Union; the member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC); India; Indonesia (two investigations); Madagascar (two investigations); Morocco (four investigations); the Philippines (five investigations); South Africa (two investigations); Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey (three investigations); Ukraine (six investigations); the United Kingdom; and the United States.

Six members took the floor in respect of the European Union's decision to extend its safeguard measure on certain steel products.

Six members took the floor in respect of the United Kingdom's decision to extend its safeguard measure on certain steel products.

Members welcomed the following decisions to terminate safeguard investigations without the imposition of final measures: the GCC (on certain steel products); India (on solar cells); the Philippines (on motor vehicles, on aluminium zinc sheets and coils, on prepainted galvanized iron and on galvanized iron sheets, coils and strips); South Africa (on sections of iron or non-alloy steel); Thailand (on aluminium foil); and Ukraine (on ceramic tiles and on wires). 

Observations by the European Union

The European Union asked for a specific agenda item to make its observations on the investigation by Ukraine on wire and cables, the investigation by Indonesia on articles of apparel and clothing accessories and the investigation by Indonesia on cigarette paper. Ukraine and Indonesia took note of the observations of the European Union and offered their views.

Requests under Article 13.1 of the Safeguards Agreement

The request made by the European Union pursuant to Article 13.1 (e) of the Safeguards Agreement as well as the request made by Ecuador pursuant to Article 13.1 (b) of the Safeguards Agreement were taken up. Members had various comments on the draft documents submitted by the chair on each request, and the chair suggested that the members continue discussing these two requests.

Possible revision to the safeguards notification format

The committee had another round of discussions on Brazil's proposal regarding certain revisions of the notification format. The chair suggested that members continue discussing this proposal.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee on Safeguards is provisionally scheduled for the week of 25 April 2022.

More background on safeguards is available here.

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