This summary has been prepared by the Secretariat under its own responsibility. The summary is for general information only and is not intended to affect the rights and obligations of Members.
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Summary of the dispute to date
The summary below was up-to-date at
On 1 June 2018, the European Union requested consultations with the United States concerning certain measures imposed by the United States to allegedly adjust imports of steel and aluminium into the United States.
The European Union claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:
- Articles 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 7, 9, 11.1(a), 12.1, 12.2 and 12.3 of the Agreement on Safeguards;
- Articles I:1, II:1(a), II:1(b), X:3(a), XI:1, XIX:1(a) and XIX:2 of the GATT 1994; and
- Article XVI:4 of the WTO Agreement.
On 8 June 2018, Japan request to join the consultations. On 13 June 2018, China requested to join the consultations. On 14 June 2018, Thailand and Turkey requested to join the consultations. On 15 June 2018, Canada, Hong Kong, China, India, Mexico, Norway and the Russian Federation requested to join the consultations. On 18 June 2018, Indonesia requested to join the consultations.
On 11 June 2018, the United States requested the Chair of the DSB to circulate to Members a communication where it indicated that the United States was willing to enter into consultations with the European Union, without prejudice to the US view that the measures imposed by the United States concern issues of national security not susceptible to review or capable of resolution by WTO dispute settlement and that the consultations provisions in the Agreement on Safeguards are not applicable. In its communication, the United States also referred to the European Union's notification of 18 May 2018 that it intended to suspend concessions and other obligations, pursuant to Article 8.2 of the Agreement on Safeguards.
Panel and Appellate Body proceedings
On 18 October 2018, the European Union requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 29 October 2018, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.
At its meeting on 21 November 2018, the DSB established a panel. Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Hong Kong, China, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela reserved their third-party rights.
On 7 January 2019, the European Union requested the Director-General to compose the panel. On 25 January 2019, the Director-General composed the panel.
On 4 September 2019, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties no earlier than autumn 2020. In its communication, the Chair also informed the DSB that the report would be available to the public once it was circulated to the Members in all three official languages, and that the date of circulation depends on completion of translation. On 4 February 2021, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that due to delays caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties no earlier than the second half of 2021.
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