Antidumping: Prospects for Discipline from the Doha Negotiations
J. Michael Finger
Maintaining an economically sensible trade policy is often a matter of managing pressures for exceptions – for protection for a particular industry. Good policy becomes a matter of managing interventions so as to strengthen the politics of openness and liberalization---of avoiding rather than of imposing such restrictions in the future. In the 1990s, antidumping measures emerged as the instrument of choice to accomplish this, despite the fact that they satisfy neither of these criteria. Its economics is ordinary protection; it considers the impact on the domestic interests that will benefit while excluding the domestic interests that will bear the costs. Its unfair trade rhetoric undercuts rather than supports a policy of openness. As to what would be better, the key issue in a domestic policy decision should be the impact on the domestic economy. Antidumping reform depends less on the good will of WTO delegates toward the "public interest" than on those business interests that are currently treated by trade law as bastards insisting that they be given the same standing as the law now recognizes for protection seekers.
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