Sunday, May 6, 2012

Committee on Antidumping - Some interesting insights

The WTO website had this report recently about the Committee on Antidumping practises reviewing the various reports of antidumping actions taken by WTO members in the second half of 2011. I had earlier blogged about an article on China and India's antidumping steps here.

The summary of the conclusions of the Committee are found here:
"During the review, the following concerns were raised:
  • Japan complained that Australia’s anti-dumping duty from Japan had been in place for 20 years, and that Japan’s share in the Australian market had decreased to 0.5 per cent. It urged the revocation of the measure. Australia invited Japan to bilateral talks on this issue.
  • Turkey expressed concerns about Brazil’s on-going investigation on viscose yarn from Turkey, and reserved all its rights. Brazil said it was willing to talk about this issue with Turkey.
  • The United States said it was deeply troubled by what it described as lack of due process in China’s anti-dumping actions, and in particular the imposition last December of anti-dumping measures on imports of some $3 billion worth of US automobiles. Separately, Japan and the European Union expressed concerns over China’s anti-dumping investigations on photographic paper and paper board, and on certain high-performance stainless steel seamless tubes, respectively. 
  • Turkey said that because of deficiencies in the investigation, the Dominican Republic should revoke its anti-dumping measure on steel rods and beams from Turkey.
  • China said that 20 years of EU anti-dumping duty on bicycles from China was a case of overprotection, adding that Chinese bicycle exports to the EU had decreased considerably. It also expressed concern that the EU’s anti-dumping investigation on ironing boards was targeting only one Chinese company, which it said was in violation of the Agreement.  The EU said that the measures in question were consistent with the WTO.
  • Turkey expressed concern about the Indian anti-dumping measure on soda ash from Turkey, adding that such measures should not be used as disguised protectionism. Norway said that India’s anti-dumping action on caustic soda from Norway was the first time India has initiated such an action against Norway. It maintained that Norwegian companies did not export caustic soda to India during the period under investigation. India said that its anti-dumping procedures were consistent with the WTO.
  • China expressed concerns regarding Mexico’s anti-dumping investigations on graphite electrodes and coaxial cables, respectively. The United States said that its companies have communicated serious concerns regarding the dumping margin calculations by the Mexican authorities on chicken legs and thighs from the US. Mexico said its measures were fully in line with WTO rules.
  • Turkey said that Ukraine did not meet the WTO criteria in its investigation on float glass from Turkey, and urged termination of the anti-dumping measure.
  • Japan said that while it welcomed the United States’ revocation of anti-dumping duty on steel plate from Japan early this year, it continued to be concerned about four US measures on Japanese products that were more than 20 years old. The United States said the situation could be explained by the lack of participation of Japanese companies in US sunset reviews. Japan said that there was little interest from Japanese companies because they believe there was little chance the US measures in question would be allowed to lapse." 
 A tabular analysis of the origin of the country's and the respondent reveals the following:

Complainant (Exporting country)
Country alleged to have used antidumping measure (Importing country)
Viscose Yarn
Japan and EU
Photographic paper and boards, stainless steel seamless tubes
Dominican Republic
Steel rods and beams
Bicycles, ironing boards
Soda ash
Caustic Soda
Graphite electrodes and coaxial cables
Chicken legs and thighs
Float glass

It is noticed that both the developed countries (Australia, EU, US) as well as developing countries (Mexico, India, China, Ukraine) use antidumping measures as well as face the brunt of it. Hence, it is not a case where antidumping measures are employed only by the developing or developed world against the other. Turkey is an active complainant in these matters alleging that antidumping measures have been unjustifiably deployed against it by Brazil, Dominican Republic, India and Ukraine. The use of antidumping measures is per se not considered protectionist due to the provisions of the WTO Agreement that permits it under certain conditions. The concern is that the actual use of the measures are a disguised form of protectionism which is increasingly being used by both the developed and developing worlds. It is undoubtedly a thin line to distinguish when it is a genuine trade measure and when it is actually an unreasonable barrier.

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