WTO rules in favor of Turkish HRC producers in AD dispute with Morocco

Friday, 02 November 2018 10:04:22 (GMT+3)   |   San Diego

A World Trade Organization panel ruled this week in favor of the Turkish steelmakers Colakoglu and Erdemir, according to news reports, with the panel concluding that the Moroccan government violated international trade rules when enacting antidumping duties on imports of hot rolled steel from Turkey.

Turkey prevailed on nearly all of its substantive challenges to the duties implemented by Morocco’s investigative trade agency (MDCCE). The panel faulted MDCCE for “adverse inferences” made in the calculation of the duties, along with the manner in which it conducted an accompanying probe into whether Turkish imports injured domestic producers.

Colakoglu and Erdemir had initially obtained zero dumping margins in the original investigation but subsequently MDCCE increased the dumping margins to 11 percent.

The panel found that MDCCE dismissed certain data presented by Turkish producers and instead crafting its duties using “facts available,” a method meant for punishing companies that do not sufficiently cooperate with an investigation. MDCCE also reportedly violated the antidumping agreement by completing the investigation beyond the 18-month period prescribed by WTO rules, and relied too heavily on flawed industrial analysis prepared by steel consulting firm McLellan and Partners Ltd., which “polluted the government's injury finding.”

“The MDCCE, in relying in its injury analysis on the McLellan report … without properly investigating the significance of inaccuracies in that report, did not base its injury determination on an objective examination, and therefore acted inconsistently with … the Anti-Dumping Agreement,” the panel wrote in its decision.

Turkey originally filed the suit in October 2016. Both sides have 60 days to appeal the decision, and if the ruling is upheld on appeal, Morocco will have to remove or reconfigure its antidumping duties.

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