Notifications of various safeguard (SG) actions received since the committee's April 2022 meeting covering 19 products were reviewed and a number of general issues were raised at the 24 October meeting, which was chaired by Ms Maryam A. Aldoseri (Bahrain).

China, Japan and Australia reiterated their general concern regarding the way this instrument was used, including concerns on the timeliness of notifications, the effect of existing safeguard measures on trade, and the numerous extensions of measures.

Under 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 Brazil, Canada, Djibouti, Liberia, Myanmar and the United Kingdom, and continued its review of the legislative notifications from Cameroon, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Specific notification of safeguard actions

Notifications of various safeguard actions from the following members were reviewed by the committee:  the European Union; India; Indonesia (five investigations); Madagascar; Morocco (two investigations); the Philippines; South Africa; Tunisia; Türkiye; Ukraine (three investigations); the United Kingdom; and the United States.

Eight members took the floor in respect of the latest status of the European Union's safeguard measure on certain steel products.

Five members took the floor in respect of the United Kingdom's latest status of its safeguard measure on certain steel products.

Ukraine notified the committee that three safeguard investigations had been terminated, with a main reason being the inability of domestic producers to participate, as they were situated in the area occupied by Russia, or were under attack by Russia. Nine members took the floor to thank Ukraine for its efforts to notify, and condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine. Russia contested Ukraine's explanations and the other members' statements which it considered to be outside the WTO's mandate.

Two specific agenda items requested by Japan were on the agenda, both raising concerns regarding safeguard measures imposed by Indonesia, one on carpet products, and the other on articles of apparel and clothing accessories.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Committee on Safeguards is provisionally scheduled for the week of 1 May 2023.

More background on safeguards is available here.




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