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Unfair Protection or Valid Defense

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UNFAIR PROTECTION OR VALID DEFENSE ?

“Mexico Widens Anti – dumping Measure …………. Steel at the Core of US-Japan Trade Tensions …. Competitors in Other Countries Are Destroying an American Success Story … It Must Be Stopped”, scream headlines around the world.

International trade theories argue that nations should open their doors to trade. Conventional free trade wisdom says that by trading with others, a country can offer its citizens a greater volume and selection of goods at cheaper prices than it could in the absence of it. Nevertheless, truly free trade still does not exist because national governments intervene. Despite the efforts of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and smaller groups of nations, governments seem to be crying foul in the trade game now more than ever before.

We see efforts at protectionism in the rising trend in governments charging foreign producers for “dumping” their goods on world markets. Worldwide, the number of antidumping cases that were initiated stood at about 150 in 1995, 225 in 1996, 230 in 1997 , and 300 in 1998.

There is no shortage of similar examples. The Untied States charges Brazil, Japan, and Russia with dumping their products in the US market as a way out of tough economic times. The US steel industry wants the government to slap a 200 per cent tariff on certain types of steel. But car markers in the United States are not complaining, and General Motors even spoke out against the antidumping charge – as it is enjoying the benefits of law – cost steel for use in its auto product ion. Canadian steel makers followed the lead of the United States and are pushing for antidumping actions against four nations.

Emerging markets, too, are jumping into the fray. Mexico recently expanded coverage of its Automatic Import Advice System. The system requires importers (from a select list of countries) to notify…...

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