The Appellate Body decision in the steel dispute is the latest in a line of unsatisfactory decisions in the safeguards area. The problem stems from the fact that the treaty text regarding the preconditions for the use of safeguard measures is badly deficient. The Appellate Body with its usual emphasis on textualism has done little to resolve the puzzles that the text creates. WTO members are left with little guidance about the proper use of safeguards beyond some confusing and sometimes incoherent standards. We review these issues as they have arisen in prior decisions, and then discuss the details of the steel dispute. Our emphasis there is on the panel decision more than the Appellate Body report, as the latter breaks little new ground.