WTO largely upholds Turkey’s challenge of US pipe duties

A WTO panel has largely upheld Turkey’s claims against US for imposing duties on imports of certain pipe and tube products from Turkey, S&P Global Platts learned Wednesday.

In the panel report issued on December 18, the WTO said: “With respect to Turkey’s claims under Article 1.1(a)(1) of the SCM Agreement (Subsidies and Countervaling measures) relating to the OCTG, WLP, and HWRP countervailing duty investigations and the CWP sunset review, the United States acted inconsistently with Article 1.1(a)(1), because the USDOC failed to apply the correct legal standard and failed to provide a reasoned and adequate explanation for its public body determinations regarding Erdemir and Isdemir.”

The US also acted inconsistently with Article 12.7 of the SCM Agreement in the OCTG investigation because the USDOC failed to engage in a process of reasoning and evaluation in selecting facts available for missing price information for Borusan’s Halkali and Izmit facilities and in calculating the quantity of the HRS purchases at Halkali and Izmit facilities, WTO said.

Turkey, however, failed to establish that the US acted inconsistently with some of the articles of the SCM Agreement, WTO also noted at the panel report.

Under Article 3.8 of the DSU (Dispute Settlement Understanding), in cases where there is an infringement of the obligations assumed under a covered agreement, the action is considered “prima facie” to constitute a case of nullification or impairment. “We conclude that, to the extent that the measures at issue are inconsistent with the SCM Agreement, they have nullified or impaired benefits accruing to Turkey under that Agreement.”

“Pursuant to Article 19.1 of the DSU, we recommend that the United States bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the SCM Agreement,” the WTO concluded.

— Cenk Can