The World Trade Organization's ("WTO") Committee on Anti-Dumping Practices ("Committee") consists of representatives of each WTO Member State and meets twice a year, as per Article 16 of the Agreement on the Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 ("AD Agreement" or "Anti-dumping Agreement"). The purpose of these meetings is to provide an opportunity for the members to consult with each other regarding various matters pertaining to the operation of the AD Agreement. Accordingly, the latest meeting of the Committee took place on October 25, 2017, and WTO Members shared their views and concerns related to the members' antidumping activities. In this context, two main topics of the committee meeting were related to (i) the members' concerns about the draft amendments to the Basic Anti-Dumping Regulation in the EU, which has since entered into force, and (ii) other specific anti-dumping actions taken by certain WTO members.
During the meeting, members expressed their concerns, exchanged views and answered other members' questions on issues regarding specific anti-dumping actions included in the semi-annual notifications they had submitted containing information on all preliminary and final actions, in accordance with Article 16.4 of the AD Agreement.
Turkey was among the members who came under scrutiny during the Committee meeting after Brazil and Ukraine raised concerns about measures that had been imposed by Turkey. In this regard, it should be noted the Committee's Recommendation Concerning the Periods of Data Collection for Anti- Dumping Investigations indicates that the period of data collection for injury investigations should normally be at least three (3) years, unless a party whose data is being gathered has existed for a shorter period of time, and should cover the entirety of the period of data collection for the dumping investigation. On the basis that the recommended period for data collection had not been met, Brazil argued that the investigation should be terminated without the imposition of any measures. Turkey responded that the investigation had been launched in line with WTO rules, but also indicated that it would nevertheless take Brazil's concerns into account in the course of the investigation. Turkey has since finalized the investigation and imposed an anti-dumping duty on Brazil's imports, along with imports from Finland, Russia and Poland on April 19, 2018. However, in line with Brazil's comments, the relevant Turkish authority also reviewed the entire 3-year period between 2014 and 2016 to analyze the injury threat in order to fulfill the requirements pertaining to objective examination under Article 3.1 of the AD Agreement. The Turkish authority carried out this review even though the scope of the review for the determination of an injury threat was initially set forth as the first six months of the years between 2014 and 2016, as the investigation period was established as the first six (6) months of 2016. Accordingly, the authority analyzed both 6-month data and 12-month data between 2014 and 2016 and determined that there had been distortions in economic indicators of local production, especially in the 12-month periods of the relevant three years compared to the 6-month periods.
Another concern was raised by Ukraine, who argued that Turkey had unfairly maintained anti-dumping duties on copper wire rod imports from Ukraine for more than ten (10) years, as the situation in Ukraine's domestic industry had changed drastically in the past ten (10) years and Turkish producers no longer faced any injury threat. Therefore, Ukraine argued that the measure previously applied to Ukrainian wire rod imports should be terminated. The measure in question was first imposed on the imports of copper wire rods from Russia in November 2005 and on the imports of copper wire rods from Ukraine in June 2006. In 2011, Turkey decided to maintain the measures on both Russian and Ukrainian imports pursuant to the results of a "sunset review" of the imports of the relevant product. In July 2016, another sunset review was initiated upon which Ukraine raised its above-mentioned concerns. During the Committee meeting, Turkey responded to Ukraine that the ongoing review period had been extended for six (6) months (meaning that the investigation could be completed in one year and six months) but would still be completed in line with the deadline prescribed in the AD Agreement (i.e., the 18-month period as per Article 5.10). Turkey completed the sunset review on December 29, 2017, and the measure has since been terminated on the grounds that the injury to local production caused by dumping was not likely to continue or to resume.
This article was first published in Legal Insights Quarterly by ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law in June 2018. A link to the full Legal Insight Quarterly may be found here.
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