China threatens retaliatory anti-dumping

Chi­na, as I’ve report­ed “here”: before, is the world’s most anti-dumped econ­o­my (20% of all cas­es in 2001–2; 15% last year). It was always on the cards that it would start to take advan­tage of it’s mar­ket pow­er to play the anti-dump­ing threat card on its own behalf. bq. Anti-dump­ing actions are a par­tic­u­lar­ly hot issue in Bei­jing’s dri­ve to per­suade the US and Euro­pean Union that it should be grant­ed “mar­ket econ­o­my sta­tus”, a move that would make it much eas­i­er for its com­pa­nies to defend against such cas­es. (“Finan­cial Times”: Unfor­tu­nate­ly, it’s a high­ly cred­i­ble threat. Chi­na’s imports over the past two years or so have been the biggest engine of world trade growth. Over­all Chi­na was the fifth largest mer­chan­dise trad­er in 2002 (WTO World Trade Report, 2003) and, by 2003, had jumped up the ranks to be the world’s third biggest importer of mer­chan­dise goods—behind the EU and USA (WTO’s Annu­al Report, 2004). The link between anti-dump­ing and the ‘mar­ket econ­o­my sta­tus’ of Chi­na is explained in my “ear­li­er report”:: on Chi­na’s offer of a ‘free trade agree­ment’ with Aus­tralia. Aus­tralian leg­is­la­tion still allows the use of so-called ‘tran­si­tion­al econ­o­my’ steps in the inves­ti­ga­tion of anti-dump­ing com­plaints against Chi­nese imports. See my ear­li­er “report”: But the gov­ern­men­t’s renun­ci­a­tion of Arti­cle 15 of the Pro­to­col of Chi­na’s Acces­sion to the WTO means that it will not apply these ‘non-mar­ket econ­o­my’ steps by default to Chi­nese imports. Rather, the Cus­toms (Anti-dump­ing) Leg­is­la­tion requires that Min­is­ter be sat­is­fied that “mar­ket con­di­tions do not prevail”.

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