With the clear objective of protecting local industries from the globalization and specific speaking from the international competition, governments have created exceptions policies like anti-dumping, anti-subsidy and safeguard actions. Safeguard measure is a government intervention applied to remedy or prevent serious injury to local industries and businesses due to anincrease of the imports of a product. This measures have been historically surrounded by controversy between supportive and contradictors of the use; it is well known that any country that is opening its market to the international market should present certain levels of pressure in some products and particular industries, it is also known that the opening and trade liberalization should increase theimport levels and therefore the weak or less prepared competitive industries are going to be affected. But is not indeed one of the principal reasons to open a market and participate in a global world business to detect this industries and move the resources to the more competitive and successful ones; and in this way just supply the better products and at the best prices. Thinking in this pointof view as a basis of the globalization concept is clear that many people find contradictory the appliance of safeguard measures, however this movement of resources (capital and people principally) is not instantaneous and this is the basic concept for the supportive side. Using safeguard actions as a measure to first give the opportunity to industries to adapt to the competitiveness or second movein a controllable way employment, capital, and in general resources to another economic area. The developed countries and the trade organizations have found that these measures sometimes have to be applied as “emergency” actions to protect the best interests of its people, government and country (Lee, 2007). In this report a critical comparison between the way in that the measure is applied bythe WTO, The United States International Trade Commission and the European Commission is going to be made.
According to the World Trade Organisation a safeguard measure is an action taken by a member to restrict the import levels of a product or direct product competitors temporarily if its local industry is serious injured or threatened by the imports increase of that product; inprinciple this measure shouldn’t target a particular country imports, and more the general product imports. The conditions to apply it are: serious injury that means an overall impairment of the local industry and companies, serious threat which is a clear and imminent threat to the industry, surge imports that can be an absolute or relative increase; this in other words is a real increase in the importsquantities (Absolute) or an increase of the import share within a shrinking market (Relative) and finally that this imports are the principal cause of this injury or threat.
About the measure as itself it can be of two different kinds as a quantitative restriction (quotas) or a rate or bound rates increase, its duration cannot be more than 8 years, and it has to be progressively liberalized. Forthe WTO developing countries has to be somehow shielded against this measure and they do it through protecting them with the fact that is only applicable to a developing country if the imports of that product by that country are more than the 3% of the total imports. Finally they state that in order to apply this measure a deep investigation; transparent and following specific rules; has to bedone which includes all the different practices and analysis of the different levels of sales, production, productivity, capacity, utilization, profits and losses and employment of the industry. (http://www.wto.org)
Safeguard measures are stated in the section 201 of trade act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. 2251. If an article is being imported by the United States in such quantities that is the...