Reforming Trade Remedies
57 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2013
Date Written: December 6, 2012
This article aims to restart the debate on trade remedies by offering new perspectives on the fundamental defects of the current trade remedy regime and by proposing a bold yet feasible roadmap for reforms. This article focuses on antidumping, the linchpin of trade remedies. While antidumping is being justified as a safety valve for protectionist pressures, I argue in this article that antidumping is a faulty safety valve in that it provides arbitrary levels of protection for petitioners, results in undue uncertainties for respondents, and has too low a threshold for activation. I further demonstrate that antidumping exacerbates democracy deficit in trade policy, as the mechanical formulas used for calculating antidumping duties deprive the trade remedy process of the democratic participation that is essential for seeking consensus and compromises on trade protectionism. I propose to replace antidumping with a new country-specific safeguard that has a heightened injury standard and a mandatory public interest clause. I argue that this country-specific safeguard comports with the policy objectives of trade remedies and is politically feasible. The global safeguard currently in use, by contrast, cannot provide the kind of trade protection demanded by users of antidumping. Finally, I argue that once the country-specific safeguard is adopted, countervailing duties should be subsumed under the country-specific safeguard as well.
Keywords: trade remedies, antidumping, global safeguard, country-specific safeguard, countervailing duties
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