WTO Appellate Body Affirms That U.S. Safeguard Measures Violate WTO Rules
As expected, the WTO Appellate body today issued its written opinion on the complaints brought to the WTO by Brazil, China, the European Communities, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland against the section 201 "safeguard measures" imposed by the United States on numerous steel products. The WTO Appellate Body affirmed most of the Dispute Settlement Panel's conclusions that the US measures were inconsistent with the WTO Safeguards Agreement and GATT 1994 but reversed some findings regarding tin mill products and stainless steel wire. However, the Panel's findings that were reversed did not affect the overall outcome of the case.
In one of the key findings, the Appellate Body found that the application of all safeguard measures imposed by the U.S. was inconsistent with the requirements of Article XIX:1(a) of GATT 1994 and Article 3.1 of the Agreement on Safeguards because "the United States failed to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation demonstrating that 'unforeseen developments' had resulted in increased imports causing serious injury to the relevant domestic producers."