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  June 27th, 2017 | Written by

Turkey Takes US to WTO Over Duties on Steel Imports

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  • Good news for Turkish steel exporters: WTO sets panel to hear case against US on steel.
  • Turkey claims that countervailing duties imposed by the US on steel products from Turkey violate WTO rules.
  • Turkey made a second request for a WTO panel on steel exports to the US and that was accepted.

The Turkish steel industry has appealed to World Trade Organization (WTO) in its legal fight against the United States move to impose countervailing duties on imports of steel products from Turkey. In response to a request from Turkey, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) decided to establish a panel to review US countervailing duty on steel pipes from Turkey at its meeting on June 19.

Turkey pleaded a case to the DSB on the grounds that countervailing duty measures imposed by the US on a slew of steel products from Turkey including oil country tubular goods are inconsistent with the WTO’s Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM). After consultations failed to produce a satisfactory solution between Turkey and the US on April 28, 2017, Turkey requested adjudication by a panel. The US refused this request at DSB’s meeting which was held on May 22, 2017, but Turkey made a second request and that was accepted at the DSB meeting on June 19, 2017.

“We will eventually prove that we are right,” said Namık Ekinci, chairman of the Steel Exporters’ Association. “Contrary to the US claim, there are no steel producers which are public bodies in Turkey. All of our producers are private companies. Moreover, none of these companies receive any kind of subsidies.”

Canadian authorities launched an investigation into the OCTG-related claim, Ekinci noted, and ruled that there was no evidence proving any express public connection. “Canada’s objective approach towards the subject stems from Canadian authorities’ resilience against political pressure,” he added. “Unfortunately, US authorities were driven into this decision by the political pressure. We believe that if the WTO were to take a decision in favor of our case, this would prevent unjust investigations that we may face in the US and other export markets, in addition to altering the course of ongoing investigations.”