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  • December 2016
  • Japan Requests Consultations with the Government of India Under The WTO Agreement Regarding the Government of India’s Measures Imposing Safeguard Measures on Steel Products and Minimum Import Price on Iron and Steel Products

Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan Requests Consultations with the Government of India Under The WTO Agreement Regarding the Government of India’s Measures Imposing Safeguard Measures on Steel Products and Minimum Import Price on Iron and Steel Products

On December 20, 2016, the Government of Japan requested consultations with the Government of India under the WTO Agreement regarding its measures imposing (i) safeguard measures on steel products as of September 14, 2015 and (ii) the minimum import price of iron and steel products as of February 5, 2016.

1. Background

(1) Safeguard Measures

  • The Government of India (“India”) initiated a safeguard investigation against imports of steel products on September 7, 2015.
  • On March 29, 2016, based on its final determination that the increase in imports of steel products had caused serious injury and the thereat thereof to the domestic industry, India began to impose definitive safeguard measures as continuous measures of preliminary safeguard measures being imposed since September 14, 2015.
  • The Government of Japan (“Japan”) considers that the findings made and the investigation procedure taken by India’s investigation authorities include flaws, and the safeguard measures are inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994) and the WTO Agreement on Safeguards.

(2) Minimum Import Price

  • On February 5, 2016, India imposed a minimum import price on iron and steel products, under which products cannot be imported unless their import prices are at or above the imposed minimum.
  • Japan considers that this measure is inconsistent with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT 1994).

Therefore, Japan made this request for consultations with India under the WTO Agreement to seek a solution to this issue.

2. Future Schedule

Japan will arrange a date for consultations with India.

(Reference 1) Safeguard Duty

A safeguard measure is an emergency measure stipulated in the WTO Agreement, under which the importing country’s government is able to impose additional duties or quantitative restrictions against the imported products at issue in order to prevent serious injury to the domestic industry from surging imports of such products.

(Reference 2) Brief Summary of the Safeguard Measures imposed by India

India decided to impose safeguard duties for 2 years and 6 months, starting from September 14, 2015. The rate of duties imposed is 20% for the initial year, reduced to 18%, 15%, and 10% every six months thereafter.

(Reference 3) Consultations Under the WTO Agreement

The WTO Agreement requires WTO Members to hold consultations before Members request that the WTO establish a panel to examine whether the measures at issue are inconsistent with the WTO Agreement. The WTO Agreement encourages Members to settle disputes through mutual agreements (Article 4 of Annex 2 of the WTO Agreement: Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes).

Release date

December 21, 2016

Division in Charge

  • Office for WTO Compliance and Dispute Settlement, Multilateral Trade System Department, Trade Policy Bureau for general information on WTO dispute settlements
  • Metal Industries Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau for information on the industry related to metal industries
  • Southwest Asia Office, Trade Policy Bureau for information on the economic relationship between Japan and India

Related website

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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