Turkey Takes Unfair U.S. Duties on Turkish Steel to WTO

Good news for Turkish steel exporters:
WTO to establish a panel


The Turkish steel industry has appealed to World Trade Organization (WTO) in its legal fight against the U.S. move to impose countervailing duties on imports of steel products from Turkey. In response to a request from Turkey, the Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) of the World Trade Organization has decided to establish a panel to review U.S. countervailing duty on steel pipes from Turkey at its meeting on June 19. Highlighting their satisfaction with this decision, Namık Ekinci, Chairman of the Steel Exporters' Association, said, “We will eventually prove that we are right.”

Turkey pleaded a case to Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) on the grounds that countervailing duty measures imposed by the U.S. on a slew of steel products from Turkey including OCTG (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 U.S. on April 28, 2017, Turkey requested adjudication by a panel. The U.S. refused this request at DSB's meeting which was held on May 22, 2017. Determined to get a positive result, Turkey made a second request for the establishment of a panel, which was accepted at the DSB meeting on June 19, 2017. Hence Turkey was given a chance to prove itself right.

Indicating that the decision to form a panel is good news for the Turkish steel industry, Namık Ekinci, Chairman of the Steel Exporters' Association, commented: “We continue our fight at the World Trade Organization under the leadership of our Ministry of Economy. Contrary to the U.S.' 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 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. Unfortunately, U.S. 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 U.S. and other export markets, in addition to altering the course of ongoing investigations. As the Steel Producers' Association, we embrace fair trade conducted in compliance with the rules of the World Trade Organization. We trust that the panel established by the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body as a result of our efforts will review our appeal objectively. We will eventually prove that we are right.”