Calls for a return to core principles and avoidance of further micro-management
Washington, DC – Recognizing that the antidumping issue is one of the most divisive on the Doha Development Agenda (DDA), the National Foreign Trade Council today released its recommended strategy for addressing the WTO negotiations on antidumping. TheNFTC proposal calls for returning to core principles in the Agreement on Antidumping and establishing an Experts Group process for developing model instruments, encouraging greater uniformity of practice, and providing technical assistance and capacity building for developing countries.
“A number of countries have made antidumping reform one of their highest priorities. If a compromise is not achieved, the issue will be a serious threat to the success of the Doha Development Agenda,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. Reinsch urged WTO Members to avoid a process of further micro-management of the current maze of confusing provisions in the Antidumping Agreement, calling it a recipe for gridlock and continued polarization in the rules negotiation.
The NFTC proposal was delivered to Ambassador Zoellick and Secretary Evans today. Its major goals include the following:
Recognizing that antidumping is a legitimate instrument of trade policy, i.e., one that contributes significantly to the balance of rights and obligations upon which the effective functioning of the WTO system is based;
Limiting the text of a new Antidumping Agreement to core principles, embracing best practices already incorporated in the antidumping laws and regulations of the U.S. and other experienced jurisdictions;
Encouraging uniformity of practice across national jurisdictions through the establishment of an AoA Experts Group that would, among other things, develop model regulations and other instruments; and
Providing special and differential treatment for developing countries in their administration of national antidumping laws and building their capacity to comply with WTO requirements, particularly through the work of an Experts Group.
“A streamlined Antidumping Agreement, coupled with the creation of an Experts Group, would achieve greater clarity in the obligations of WTO Members, enable the finer points of antidumping practice to be addressed by neutral experts, rather than trade negotiators, and help developing countries adopt uniform, transparent, WTO-consistent antidumping regimes” Reinsch continued.
The Experts Group would be appointed by the WTO as a single slate to be approved by the U.S. and other members of the Antidumping Committee.
The strategy advocated by the NFTC offers at least three significant advantages over other proposals:
It would make the Antidumping Agreement more like other WTO Agreements by focusing on core principles;
It would prune, rather than expand, the current maze of complex provisions.
It would establish an impartial and objective Experts Group to encourage best practices among WTO Members through the use of model regulations and other instruments and help developing countries implement and adapt their regimes in a WTO-consistent manner.
“The benefits of the NFTC proposed antidumping framework are many. It will insulate the antidumping decision-making process from political interference, reduce administrative costs for respondents, and achieve greater uniformity by encouraging the adoption of best practices and model regulations, which should lead to fewer disputes. Importantly, it will also avoid duplicating the Uruguay Round approach of further micro-managing an already complex agreement. We strongly urge the WTO to pursue a course of action consistent with these recommendations,” Reinsch concluded.
For a copy of the NFTC proposal, please see the attached link http://www.nftc.org/default/trade/NFTC%20Position%20Paper%20on%20Antidumping%20-March%202003%20-%20final.pdf .
Antidumping Ltr to Secretary Evans
Antidumping Ltr to Ambassador Zoellick
NFTC Position Paper on Antidumping