chapter  4
Serious injury
Pages 23

Safeguard measures may be applied against imports that are causing serious injury to the domestic industry producing like or directly competitive products. It should be noted that antidumping and countervailing measures may be taken if there is material injury to the domestic industry producing like products. ‘Material injury’ has not been defined anywhere. It has generally been taken to mean any injury that is not insignificant. Serious injury has been defined in art. 4.1(a) as ‘a significant overall impairment in the position of a domestic industry’. Thus serious injury is a higher threshold of injury than material injury. The difference seems important when in special safeguard measures, such as the one imposed on China, the requirement is market disruption, which is defined as material injury. How far this difference is relevant in practice is to be seen through the study of case laws.