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Antidumping, Safeguards and Trade Remedies during the Crisis

by Chad P. Bown, DECTI

February  17, 2010 — For most of the major economies in the multilateral, rules-based trading system, one of the fundamental and potentially WTO-legal ways in which they can respond to calls for additional protection from imports is through resort to trade “remedy” policy instruments such as antidumping, safeguards, and countervailing duty (anti-subsidy) policies.

This Monitoring Update to the World Bank-sponsored Global Antidumping Database reports on newly available data on the combined use of such policies during the fourth quarter 2009, in addition to their earlier use during the crisis.
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For the first time since the onset of the global economic crisis in mid-2008, the fourth quarter of 2009 saw a substantial decrease in industry demands for temporary new import barriers under potentially WTO-legal “trade remedy” policies – antidumping, safeguards, and countervailing duty (anti-subsidy) policies.  Compared to the same time period in 2008, the fourth quarter of 2009 resulted in a 23.8% decrease in newly initiated investigations in which domestic industries request the imposition of such new import restrictions.  

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Despite signs that the fourth quarter 2009 could become a turning point for the demands for new trade barriers during the crisis, the annual data are more sobering. Total industry requests for trade barriers in 2009 were 19.7% higher than the total requests for 2008 which were 35.0% higher than the 2007 total. 

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In the fourth quarter of 2009, fourteen different WTO member economies initiated new trade remedy investigations. Developing countries initiated 76.9% of the new investigations, while industrialized economies initiated the remaining 23.1%. China’s exporters continued to be the dominant target, being named in over 70% of the new country-level investigations that may result in import restrictions. 

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The fourth quarter 2009 also provided the first substantial crisis-era evidence of the anticipated increase in the imposition of the new trade barriers that can come at the conclusion of the investigations that were  initiated earlier. When compared to the same period in 2008, the fourth quarter of 2009 resulted in a 35.7% increase in the number of new import-restricting measures imposed. An increase in imposed barriers has been expected given the increase in investigations initiated during the earlier stages of the global economic crisis; a trend likely to continue into 2010 given the backlog of ongoing investigations. 

bullet blueThe annual data for 2009 indicate that the total number of newly imposed import restrictions under trade remedy laws are 29.5% higher than the total for 2008.

Read the Monitoring Update (February 17,  2010) by Chad P. Bown, DECTI

Read Executive Summary (February  17, 2010)

View the World Bank-sponsored Global Antidumping Database  

View data to generate your own charts

Earlier Report:
Read the third quarter 2009 Monitoring Update as PREM Note 144 
"The Pattern of Antidumping and Other Types of Contingent Protection"
by Chad P. Bown, October 16, 2009.

For more information, please contact:
Chad P. Bown, Senior Economist; Development Research Group, Trade and International Integration (DECTI)
The World Bank; 1818 H Street, NW; MSN MC3-303; Washington, DC 20433 USA
Tel: +1.202.473.9588


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