Does the Agreement on Safeguards Frustrate Its Own Purpose?

Sudhakar, T. V. G. N.; Reddy, J. Adithya
October 2007
ICFAI Journal of International Business Law;Oct2007, Vol. 6 Issue 4, p8
Academic Journal
Since the inception of the Agreement on Safeguards (ASG), there has been a steep rise in the number of safeguard measures taken by countries despite every safeguard measure challenged before the Panel or Appellate Body (AB) being struck down for failing to meet the requirements. The main purpose of this paper is to ascertain the reason behind the Panel's or AB's failure to appreciate the measures. The prerequisites for imposition of a safeguard measure shall be discussed first to see if these are indeed insurmountable, as claimed by some authors. The "non-attribution" requirement and the unforeseen development clause�allegedly the main hindrances�shall be discussed and alternate models shall be suggested. If these requirements are indeed difficult to conform to, a major purpose of having such an agreement�to help developing countries nurture their nascent industries�is thoroughly defeated. Certain other aspects of the ASG, like allowance of discriminatory treatment shall be discussed. The paper concludes by supporting the views of Prof. Yong-Shik Lee that what is needed is not any major change in the ASG or the AB's decisions, but just a little more responsibility on the part of the member states.


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