Safeguards Agreement. See also Accession Protocols, Transitional safeguard mechanism (A.0.3); Agreement on Agriculture, Article 5 – Special safeguard (A.1.14); Textiles and Clothing Agreement, Article 6 – Transitional safeguard (T.7.1)
S.1.1 General. See also Safeguards Agreement, Article XIX of the GATT 1994 – General (S.1.45)
S.1.1.1 US – Line Pipe, paras. 80, 82–84
… it is useful to recall that safeguard measures are extraordinary remedies to be taken only in emergency situations. Furthermore, they are remedies that are imposed in the form of import restrictions in the absence of any allegation of an unfair trade practice. In this, safeguard measures differ from, for example, antidumping duties and countervailing duties to counter subsidies, which are both measures taken in response to unfair trade practices. …
… part of the raison d'être of Article XIX of the GATT 1994 and the Agreement on Safeguards is, unquestionably, that of giving a WTO Member the possibility, as trade is liberalized, of resorting to an effective remedy in an extraordinary emergency situation that, in the judgement of that Member, makes it necessary to protect a domestic industry temporarily.
There is, therefore, a natural tension between, on the one hand, defining the appropriate and legitimate scope of the right to apply safeguard measures and, on the other hand, ensuring that safeguard measures are not applied against “fair trade” beyond what is necessary to provide extraordinary and temporary relief. A WTO Member seeking to apply a safeguard measure will argue, correctly, that the right to apply such measures must be respected in order to maintain the domestic momentum and motivation for ongoing trade liberalization. In turn, a WTO Member whose trade is affected by a safeguard measure will argue, correctly, that the application of such measures must be limited in order to maintain the multilateral integrity of ongoing trade concessions. The balance struck by the WTO Members in reconciling this natural tension relating to safeguard measures is found in the provisions of the Agreement on Safeguards.