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Section 201—Global Safeguards

The United States implements measures to address import relief (or a safeguard action) under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974. These actions are in accordance with GATT Article XIX and the WTO Safeguards Agreement. United States trade law in this area sets forth the authority and procedures for the President to take action by determining if “an article is being imported into the United States in such increased quantities as to be a substantial cause of serious injury, or threat thereof, to the domestic industry producing an article like or directly competitive with the imported article.”

Investigations under Section 201 of the Trade Act of 1974 (from the U.S. International Trade Commission)

Background on Section 201 Safeguards (from the U.S. International Trade Commission)

Process and Role of Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis in Safeguard Actions

Following the receipt of an appropriate safeguard petition, the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) conducts an assessment to determine whether imports of the applicable products are, or threaten to be, a substantial cause of disruption to the domestic industry. If a positive determination is made, the USITC then makes recommendations to the President and USTR as to the type(s) of remedy that would provide for import relief.

Once a final USITC determination and recommendation is made, USTR must provide the President with a recommendation as to whether import relief is in the national economic interest, and if so, what for form it should take.  To do so, USTR works with the inter-agency group, including Commerce. I&A’s Office of Trade Negotiations and Analysis (OTNA) is the lead office in Commerce’s evaluation of import relief, and is supported by the relevant I&A industry offices, as well as E&C.  OTNA’s analysis focuses on the likely effects of remedies on U.S. industry production, supply chains, and competitiveness.  ITA and other agencies will put forth their views on whether a remedy is in the national economic interest and, if so, which one best provides for import relief.  USTR then makes the recommendation to the President, who then makes the final decision regarding imposition of an import relief measure.

Current Cases

Section 201 Global Safeguard Cases with import relief measures currently in place:

1. Crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells and modules

2. Large residential washing machines

Last Updated: 7/26/18 10:47 AM

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