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 9 July 2018, Switzerland 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.
Switzerland claimed that the measures appear to be inconsistent with:
- Articles 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 7, 11.1(a), 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 and 12.5 of the Agreement on Safeguards; and
- 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 13 July 2018, Thailand requested to join the consultations. On 18 July 2018, Canada requested to join the consultations. On 19 July 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 Switzerland, 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.
On 20 July 2018, China, Mexico and the Russian Federation requested to join the consultations. On 23 July 2018, the European Union requested to join the consultations. On 29 August 2018, the United States requested the Chair of the DSB to circulate to Members a communication where it rejected the requests to join the consultations submitted by Canada, China, the European Union, Mexico, the Russian Federation and Thailand.
Panel and Appellate Body proceedings
On 8 November 2018, Switzerland requested the establishment of a panel. At its meeting on 21 November 2018, the DSB deferred the establishment of a panel.
At its meeting on 4 December 2018, the DSB established a panel. Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, the European Union, Guatemala, Hong Kong, China, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela reserved their third-party rights.
On 7 January 2019, Switzerland 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. 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. On 9 December 2021, the Chair of the panel informed the DSB that due to the complexity of the dispute and the delays caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the panel expected to issue its final report to the parties no earlier than the first half of 2022.
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