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Anti Dumping The Controversy Essay

4093 words - 17 pages

Anti-dumping - The controversy- 02 April 2004While antidumping doesn't get a lot of press, it is certainly one of the biggest issues that the WTO is dealing with today. During the recent WTO Ministerial Conference in Seattle, much was made about protesters who were demanding higher environmental standards or international labor standards. Little was mentioned about antidumping. However, In the midst of the many demonstrators there were steel workers and members of other union organizations like the AFL-CIO who were there to defend US antidumping laws. Antidumping regulation was a major issue for Seattle as it is for the organization of the WTO in general. From the inception of the WTO, there ...view middle of the document...

Also, WTO member countries must agree to all the obligations of its agreements. The WTO also features binding panel resolutions. Countries must accept the panel rulings; under GATT that was not necessarily true. Still, WTO embodies the same spirit as GATT. It favors trade liberalization and globalization over trade barriers. In particular, one main objective of the WTO is to reduce trade restrictions, and one of the first agreements it reached was a general reduction in tariffs. (Schott, 1). For all of the WTO's promise to tear down of trade barriers, there is some concern that antidumping procedures are a covert way of hanging on to some of these practices. Since the WTO has come into existence, antidumping cases have flourished. Between January 1994 and July 1995 there were 238 new provisional or actual antidumping measures were enforced by 19 WTO members (Schott, 221). Most came from countries such as the United States, Australia, Canada and the countries of the European Union. Under the WTO Antidumping Agreement, dumping is generally defined as selling a product in an export market at a lower price than the product is sold in the exporter's home country. It is also associated with selling the product at less than the marginal cost of production. This action is often called predatory pricing. The dumping company keeps its price so low that it drives its competition out of business so it gains monopoly power after a time. A company is able to do this in the long run because after a time it only has to cover its average variable cost, once it covers its overhead expenses. Antidumping is the practice where governments place tariffs or quotas or duties on imported goods that they believe are being dumping in their in order to prevent their domestic industries from collapsing due to the importer's unfair pricing. Examples of goods that often affected by antidumping measures are steel, computer screens and supercomputers, and agriculture. If in fact a domestic industry is indeed having competing products being dumped in its country, it is possible that it could be injured. The lower price imports could decrease the amount of domestic products purchased, and domestic companies may not be able to lower their prices in order to compete with these imports. Thus, antidumping procedures may be prudent in these cases. Antidumping can be a necessary measure for countries to enforce in certain cases. However, this paper focuses with the problems of antidumping. One particular issue is whether or not countries are using the valid methods (by the WTO's standards) to determine the presence of antidumping. Since this is such a controversial issue, this paper often examines the results if there are antidumping measures placed on products that are not actually being dumped or that do not severely harm domestic industries. It should be absolutely noted that this is not all there is to say about antidumping. Rather, it describes some of the arguments against...

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