The Safeguard Measure/VER Dilemma: The Jekyll and Hyde of Trade Protection

Hizon, Ernesto M. | January 1, 1994

The safeguard measure, or the escape clause mechanism provided in Article XIX of GAIT 1947 has always been the “ugly duckling” in the palette of attractive defensive trade options available to states who wish to withdraw from the Article XI obligation of the 1947 Agreement prohibiting quantitative restrictions on imports. But unlike the antidumping and countervailing duty option which targets “unfair trade,” Article XIX deals not with the inherent “fairness” of the onslaught of imports, but merely furnishes a temporary escape hatch for domestic producers to adapt to serious competition from foreign manufacturers.