Antidumping :Trade law or game law ? 2 April 2004
By the time a "brave new world for traders" was ushered in 1995 the antidumping had emerged as the "prima donna" of trade remedies permissible under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). (1)
During the Uruguay Round (1986-1994) while the governments were busy broadening the scope of GATT trade laws to cover services, investment, intellectual property, to strengthen the traditional GATT disciplines, and set up a World Trade Organisation (WTO) to manage multilateral trade in an increasingly integrated world economy, private trade remedy laws, notably antidumping, occupied the center stage. Ironically the media attention remained focussed on more dramatic 301 actions. (2)
The antidumping investigations initiated during the Uruguay Round showed a rise from 178 in 1985 to 1646 in 1994. These investigations were primarily initiated by the major trading nations, though one could see that others were keen to catch up.
The United States initiated 415 antidumping investigations during the Uruguay Round followed by Australia 388 times, the European Community 322 times, and Canada 188 times.(Table A).
By June 1995, the number of antidumping measures in force had reached 764,up from 662 in mid 1993. Most of these measures were imposed by the United States (305), the European Economic Community (178), Canada (91), and Mexico (42). The rise in the number of antidumping investigations was officially attributed to "a sharp increase in the investigations of non-OECD countries (that is, of exporters in developing countries and countries in transition). The higher number of initiations was due primarily to more frequent initiations of investigations by Australia and by the rising number of parties to the Agreement initiating such actions. (3)
Though antidumping investigations are reputedly aimed at the developing and the centrally plannesd economies, it is significant the...