Turkey files WTO complaint over EU safeguard measures

Posted on 23 March 2020

Source: Kallanish

Turkey has filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the EU’s protectionist measures on steel products from Turkey, in place since March 2018.

As part of the complaint, dispute negotiations will be held under WTO supervision.

Turkey has started the process for negotiations against the EU measures. It says these impose tariff-quotas and additional taxes that restrict Turkish steel exports by claiming they are unfair practices. Turkey has itself described this as an unfair practice under the GATT agreement.

The EU implemented provisional safeguard measures in 2018 following the introduction of Section 232 tariffs by the US. Although Turkey found these measures to be “…unfair”, the EU decided, after completing its investigation, to apply protectionist measures against 26 steel products from Turkey. The EU later reduced the quotas for Turkey, Kallanish notes.

Following Turkey's request, the parties will try to solve the dispute by negotiating for 60 days under WTO supervision. If negotiations do not succeed, Turkey’s complaint will be decided by the relevant departments of the WTO in the framework of international law.

Turkey’s Ministry of Commerce says the EU’s stated reason for protectionist measures is protection of the European domestic steel market. However, in reality, the EU is meeting demand for steel products by imports from countries other than Turkey, it adds. 

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