China, as I’ve reported “here”:http://www.inquit.com/article/39/anti-dumping-by-whom-and-on-what 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”:http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1087373494416&p=1045050946495) 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”::http://www.inquit.com/article/131/anti-dumping-china 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”:http://www.inquit.com/article/114/china-anti-dumping-bill-amended. 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”.
Peter Gallagher is a leading Australian consultant on trade and public policy.[bio].
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