AskDefine | Define safeguard

Dictionary Definition



1 a precautionary measure warding off impending danger or damage or injury etc.; "he put an ice pack on the injury as a precaution"; "an insurance policy is a good safeguard"; "we let our guard down" [syn: precaution, guard]
2 a document or escort providing safe passage through a region especially in time of war [syn: safe-conduct]


1 make safe
2 escort safely

User Contributed Dictionary



From safe + guard



  1. something that serves as a guard or protection; a defense
    Getting a flu shot is a good safeguard against illness.
  2. a safe-conduct, especially in time of war


something that serves as a guard or protection; a defense
a safe-conduct, especially in time of war


  1. to protect, to keep safe
    She kept a savings to safeguard against debt and emergencies.
  2. to escort safely


to protect, to keep safe
to escort safely

Extensive Definition

Safeguard is a tool used by a state to restrain international trade to protect a certain home industry from foreign competition. In the WTO system, a member may take a “safeguard” action (i.e., restrict imports of a product temporarily) to protect a specific domestic industry from an increase in imports of any product which is causing, or which is threatening to cause, serious injury to the domestic industry that produces like or directly competitive products.


Safeguard measures were always available under the GATT (Article XIX). However, they were infrequently used, and some governments preferred to protect their industries through “grey area” measures (“voluntary” export restraint arrangements on products such as cars, steel and semiconductors). As part of the WTO deal, members gave up these “grey area” measures and adopted a specific WTO Safeguards Agreement which disciplines the use of safeguard measures.
Safeguards are usually seen as responses to fair trade behaviour, as opposed to responses to unfair trade practices such as
As such they are supposed to be used only in very specific circumstances, with compensation, and on a universal basis, i.e. a member restricting imports for safeguard purposes will have to restrict imports from all other countries. However, exceptions to this non-discriminatory rule are provided for in the Agreement on Safeguards itself as well as in some ad hoc agreements. In this last respect it is worthwhile noting that the People's Republic of China has accepted that discriminatory safeguards may be imposed on its exports to other WTO members until 2013.
Regional trading arrangements have their own rules relating to safeguards. Some safeguard measures can be resorted to in the area of services, as provided for in the GATS.

See also


safeguard in German: Safeguard

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

advocate, aegis, arm, arm guard, armament, armor, assurance, assure, backstop, bill of health, bless, bodyguard, buffer, bulwark, bumper, care for, champion, clear sailing, clearance, cloak, compass about, conserve, contraceptive, convoy, copyright, cover, crash helmet, cushion, dashboard, defence, defend, dodger, ensure, escort, face mask, fence, fend, fender, finger guard, flank, foot guard, forearming, forehandedness, foresight, foresightedness, forethought, forethoughtfulness, full pratique, fuse, gentleman-at-arms, goggles, governor, guarantee, guard, guard against, guardrail, guards, guardsman, hand guard, handrail, harbor, hard hat, harmlessness, haven, helmet, immunity, insulation, insurance, insure, interlock, invulnerability, keep, keep from harm, keep safe, knee guard, knuckle guard, laminated glass, life preserver, lifeline, lightning conductor, lightning rod, look after, make safe, mask, measures, mudguard, nestle, nose guard, pad, padding, palladium, pass, passport, patent, pilot, police, praetorian guard, pratique, precaution, precautions, precautiousness, preserve, preventive, preventive measure, prophylactic, protect, protection, protective clothing, protective umbrella, providence, provision, register, ride shotgun for, risklessness, safe-conduct, safeness, safety, safety glass, safety plug, safety rail, safety shoes, safety switch, safety valve, save, screen, seat belt, secure, security, shelter, shield, shin guard, shroud, steps, steps and measures, sun helmet, surety, umbrella, underwrite, visa, ward, windscreen, windshield, yeoman
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