WTO Appeals Body Upholds Ruling Against Indonesia Galvalume Steel Import Duties

- Aug 17, 2018-

The World Trade Organization (WTO) appeals body upheld a panel ruling on Wednesday that duties imposed by Indonesia on certain flat-rolled iron or steel imports violate WTO rules, in a case brought by Taiwan and Vietnam. The WTO Appellate Body backed the finding of a year ago that the duty was applied in a discriminatory way as Jakarta exempted 120 developing countries, while applying it to Taiwan and Vietnam, thus going against the most-favoured-nation principle. It agreed that the measures applied to galvalume do not constitute WTO safeguard measures, rejecting an argument of the complainants and Indonesia itself. Safeguard duties are emergency tariffs that a country can impose temporarily to shield a specific sector from a sudden and damaging surge in imports.
 
WTO said “We consider that Indonesia's Notice of Appeal identifies the alleged errors in the issues of law covered in the Panel Report and legal interpretations developed by the Panel, as required under Rule 20(2)(d). Furthermore, as we see it, the complainants' objection under Rule 21(2)(b)(i) is not pertinent to the scope of appellate review. Accordingly, we decline the complainants' request that we reject Indonesia's appeal with respect to allegations set out in Section [1] of Indonesia's Notice of Appeal and paragraphs 42 to 48, 51, and 70 to 82 of Indonesia's appellant's submission.”
 
It said “The Appellate Body recommends that the DSB request Indonesia to bring its measure, found in this Report, and in the Panel Report as modified by this Report, to be inconsistent with Article I:1 of the GATT 1994, into conformity with its obligations under that Agreement.”

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