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WTO Rules against DR Safeguard Action on Certain Bags and Fabric

A WTO dispute settlement panel recently ruled against the Dominican Republic’s imposition in 2010 of provisional and definitive safeguard measures on imports of polypropylene bags and tubular fabric classified under HTSDO 5407.20.20, 6305.33.10 and 6305.33.90. The panel agreed with Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that the DR violated several provisions of the WTO Agreement on Safeguards, including with regard to the definition of domestic industry, the existence of serious injury, and the unforeseen developments and the effect of the GATT obligations that were claimed to be the cause of the alleged increase in injurious imports of subject merchandise. The WTO therefore recommended that the DR bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the Safeguard Agreement. The DR has the option of appealing this decision to the Appellate Body.

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