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Safeguards Committee May 2014

Several Members, including the US, EU, Japan, Russia and Chinese Taipei made a statement regarding the high number of investigations being carried out by India to impose steeper import duties in the form of safeguards on a number of products across sectors. These statements encapsulated the five safeguard investigations notified by India recently on products including: sodium citrate, sodium nitrate, bare elastomeric filament yarn, saturated fatty alcohols and seamless pipes. The statements noted that three of these investigations were initiated in the first quarter of 2014. The EU specifically pointed out that these investigations did not satisfy the requirements imposed by the Safeguards Agreement. The US pointed out that India has imposed 30 safeguard measures since 1995, the highest by any WTO member. The US went on to say that India should reflect on its methods and procedures in the light of the Safeguard Agreement.

India stated that its safeguard investigations feature checks and balances that involve several Government agencies and are consistent with the WTO agreement. India added that they import a large variety of items, which is why the number of safeguard duties is relatively high. Furthermore, India stated that the fact that India’s measures are seldom challenged indicates that India acts in compliance with the WTO rules.

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