TWN Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Nov09/03)
3 November 2009
Third World Network

Rules Group discusses anti-dumping issues in Chair's draft text
Published in SUNS #6803 Thursday 29 October 2009

Geneva, 28 Oct (Kanaga Raja) -- The WTO Negotiating Group on Rules discussed on 26-27 October, amongst others, two bracketed and a number of un-bracketed issues in relation to anti-dumping in the Chair's draft text.

The Group also discussed proposals that have been unaddressed in the Chair's text concerning "standing" - the threshold of domestic industry participation that would qualify for the initiation of an anti-dumping  investigation.

The Negotiating Group on Rules is meeting all this week, with discussions to be held Wednesday on the possible transposition of anti-dumping provisions to the Subsidies Agreement and horizontal subsidy issues.

According to trade officials, the Group will discuss fisheries subsidies on Thursday and Friday.

On 26-27 October, the Group took up two bracketed issues in the draft text of the Chair Ambassador Guillermo Valles Galmes of Uruguay.

These are:

(1) Product under consideration (Article 5: Initiation and Subsequent Investigation) -- This is in relation to defining what product should be covered by the anti-dumping investigation, and what factors should be used relating to physical and marketing characteristics.

According to trade officials, many delegations supported a provision on this issue but a number of delegations also maintained their position that this would be unnecessary, and would create more problems than it purports to solve.

(2) Information requests - affiliated parties (Article 6: Evidence): This concerns requests by investigating authorities for companies to ensure that their affiliates provide information in anti-dumping cases.

According to trade officials, some delegations said that a provision would be necessary to reflect the fact that companies sometimes cannot force their affiliates to provide information requested by investigating authorities.

Another view was that such a provision would make companies less likely to cooperate in giving information to the investigating authorities.

The Group also systematically went through the un-bracketed text in the Chair's draft text from Article 5.5 (on initiation of anti-dumping investigation) through Article 9 (on imposition and collection of anti-dumping duties).

According to trade officials, many delegations welcomed the proposed improvements from the Chair with respect to providing greater transparency and more procedural fairness in anti-dumping procedures.

However, concerns were expressed about the implications on different anti-dumping regimes among Members, the possibility of additional administrative burden especially for developing countries, and the practicability of time periods and deadlines proposed. +