On June 11, 2014 Morocco’s Ministry of Foreign Trade has decided to initiate a safeguard investigation. Subsequently, on June 16, 2014 Morocco notified the WTO’s Committee on Safeguards of its intention to initiate the safeguards investigation.
The products that are subject to the investigation are cold-rolled sheets in coils or cut, and plated or coated sheets. The products are classified under Morocco’s harmonized system under tariff headings 7209, 7211 (with the exception of: 7211.13; 7211.14; and 7211.19), 7225 and 7226. Plated or coated sheets fall under tariff headings 7210 (with the exception of: 7210.11; 7210.12; 7210.90.21.00; 7210.90.22.00; and 7210.90.23.00), 7212 (with the exception of: 7212.10), 7225 and 7226.
The safeguard investigation was initiated as a response to the petition that was submitted earlier by Maghreb Steel, the applicant. The authorities have found sufficient evidence in order to conducts its investigation. This is reflected by several factors: increase quantities of the imported products in absolute terms and in relation to domestic production and massive increase in volume of imports by around 100% in 2012 as compared to 211 and by 89% in 2013 as compared to 2012.
Consequently, the applicant argues that the surge in imports has caused serious injury to domestic industry for the products under investigation, which leads to a decrease in output, productivity, production capacity, sales and level of employment to name a few.
After the investigation, the authorities may or may not decide that Morocco is able to take safeguard action by restricting imports of the products temporarily.