Turkey: Turkey Initiated A Safeguard Investigation To Steel Imports

In recent years, the USA has been pursuing a very protectionist approach against imports and accordingly, it has initiated safeguard investigations and imposed very high measures (e.g. steel product). Such approach has led other countries to implement a protectionist approach as well. In other words, the increasing number of trade defence measures taken by third countries has triggered new investigations of the EU to protect its domestic industries from the potential serious injury on the basis of the most recent developments, such as any trade diversion resulting from the US measures or potential tendencies after such developments.

Such an approach has particularly become crucial for the exporting firms active in a market which is characterized by extensive trade flows and where the customers as well as the suppliers operate on a global level. Thus, any restriction concerning exports/imports of the products which are largely commoditized (no significant differences) and whose price levels are relatively comparable across jurisdictions and dependent on the conditions of competition at a global level would definitely raise concerns and trigger, at least, counter-investigations to protect the interest of the country's main producers.

In this regard, the aforesaid ongoing world-wide protectionist approach in the international trade regime has finally found its response from Turkey as well. Right after the EU's newly initiated safeguard investigation concerning iron & steel products (on 26 March 2018), the Turkish Ministry of Economy ("Ministry") has launched a safeguard measure investigation concerning the imports of certain iron & steel products and announced this in the Official Gazette dated 27 April 2018 and numbered 30404. The result of the investigation which covers a wide range of product and all countries will absolutely have an effect on export, import and domestic markets for the subject products.

In the light of above, we will provide a brief of recent events in this regard from the USA and the EU. Then, Turkish Ministry of Economy's recent investigation will be discussed.


As widely discussed, US President Donald Trump last year issued a controversial executive order calling the Department of Commerce to open an investigation whether the steel imports harmed the US national security1. The executive order aimed to protect the national security by imports in accordance with a decades-old, rarely used law, namely Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act2. Following this executive order, the Department of Commerce has opened an investigation and analyzed the effects of the imported steel to the US. As a result of the investigation, "The Effect of Imports of Steel on the National Security" was issued on 11 January 2018. The report indicates that the imports of the steel have "weakened US internal economy and threatened to impair the national security as defined in Section 232" 3.

Protectionist approaches by the President Trump are not limited with this case. Within his administration, the USA has withdrawn from Trans-Pacific Partnership4 and is considering to withdraw from NAFTA5. Further, new measures on steel and aluminum6, solar panels7 are also in the agenda. In the news, this whole process is called "trade wars".

The EU officials have previously stated that if the USA is to impose measures, then the EU would take these three steps to protect itself:

  • taking the case to the WTO,
  • imposing further safeguard measures and
  • impose tariffs on a series of American-made goods8.

Within this scope, the EU Commission has launched a safeguard investigation concerning steel products to prevent trade diversion into the EU9. According to the EU, the surveillance system for steel imports, which has been in place since March 2016, has granted evidence that imports of certain steel product have increased. The investigation is on-going.

Turkish Investigation

An action from the Turkish government against the actions taken by US and EU had been expected to prevent trade diversion into Turkey. As expected, the Ministry on 27 April 2018 ex officio initiated a safeguard investigation concerning the imports of steel products by the Communiqué on the Safeguard Measures in Imports No: 2018/3 ("Communiqué") to find out whether the steel imports were caused serious injury the domestic industry and/or threatens to cause serious injury. The investigation covers 21 different steel products and scope can be widened pursuant to the information collected throughout the investigation. Currently, the following product categories are being investigated by the Ministry to find whether the imports were caused serious injury the domestic industry and/or threatens to cause serious injury: (i) flat rolled products, (ii) bars, rods and angles, (iii) railway or tramway truck construction materials, (iv) tubes, pipes, hollow profiles and (v) stainless steel.

As an important note, the Board of Evaluation of Safeguard Measures decided to consider the issue whether the products originating from EU may be exempted from the measures, if imposed.

Within this scope, exporters may cooperate with the Ministry in this investigation to enjoy no measure or lesser measures than those who do not cooperate. As such, exporters wishing to cooperate with the Turkish government are required to fill-in a questionnaire published in the Turkish Ministry of Economy's website and submit it to the Directorate General of Imports within 30 days. By doing so, exporters are considered as interested parties and are given the chance to defend themselves in the process. Additionally, any interested party may attend the public and private hearing where they have the opportunity to orally present their position. Any oral or written communication regarding the investigation is carried out in Turkish

Within the said questionnaire, the exporters should present the following matters to the Turkish Ministry's attention: (i) information on the concerned products (types, production technology, usage, competitiveness, substitutability etc.), (ii) market structure of the concerned product and (iii) economic indicators (profitability, domestic sales, export sales, employment etc.) of the exporting company.

Importing companies may also fill-in a questionnaire to be considered as an interested party. In this questionnaire, the following information should be provided by the importers: (i) status of the importer (industrial user, exporter, only importer, distributor or etc.) and (ii) purposes for the imports (raw material, exporting by processing, reselling to the domestic market or etc.).

On the other hand, the domestic industry may also participate in the investigation and defend their interest by filling-in a questionnaire, which includes the following information: (i) the distribution channels, (ii) raw materials of the concerned product, (iii) technology of the concerned product, (iv) worldwide demand amount and (v) the domestic capacity.

As the above information suggests, the Ministry aims to collect information regarding the concerned product in terms of export, import and production. The information provided to the Ministry is crucial for the findings as to whether the iron-steel imports cause serious injury to the domestic industry.


Following the international trade measures imposed by the USA, mainly the import tariffs on the steel and aluminum, the EU has also started a safeguard investigation regarding to steel imports, as a response to the actions taken by the USA. Shortly after, Turkey announced that it initiated a safeguard investigation concerning the steel imports. It is not yet clear that the imports originating in European Union will be exempted from the possible safeguards measures. While the reflections of the Turkish investigation are yet to be seen, many exporters around the world are expected to participate in this investigation to protect their interest and to enjoy a potential no measure or lesser measures than their competitors. Therefore, it is undoubted that this investigation will shape the relevant markets in Turkey.


1 https://www.commerce.gov/news/fact-sheets/2017/04/frequently-asked-questions-section-232-investigations-effect-steel-imports

2 https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-to-revive-1962-law-to-explore-new-barriers-on-steel-imports-1492661339

3 https://www.commerce.gov/sites/commerce.gov/files/the_effect_of_imports_of_steel_on_the_national_security_-_with_redactions_-_20180111.pdf

4 https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2017/january/US-Withdraws-From-TPP

5 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/upshot/what-is-nafta.html

6 https://www.axios.com/trump-declares-his-trade-war-targets-steel-aluminum-2f68d5fe-69ec-4872-b1d5-aaae28f7bf4b.html

7 http://time.com/5113472/donald-trump-solar-panel-tariff/

8 These goods include; motorcycles, jeans, bourbon whiskey, orange juice, corn, steel, pleasure boats and cosmetics. https://www.verdict.co.uk/eu-trump-trade-tariffs-list/

9 http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=1823

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions