With regard to international trade, it’s currently rather a bad time for supporters of free trade. According to a recent World Trade Organization (WTO) report, between mid-October 2015 and mid-May 2016, G20 nations applied 145 new trade-restrictive measures, or an average of almost 21 new measures a month, up from 17 in the preceding period. This is the highest monthly average of new trade restrictive measures registered since the WTO began its monitoring exercise in 2009. In addition, G20 states initiated 96 anti-dumping investigations in the most recent period for which data is available (June-December 2015), while 80 were initiated during the previous six months.
Nevertheless, there have still been some glimmers of hope for free traders recently. One of them was confirmation by the South African Department of Trade and Industry that tariff-free access to the United States market … Read More »
In the parlance of global trade, “dumping” occurs when products are exported to one or more countries at below the price they are sold in their home market, or at below cost price. It is generally perceived that such pricing practices are deliberate and predatory: producers of widgets in country A slash prices to the point where producers of widgets in country B simply can’t compete, enabling the former to grab a larger share of country B’s market for widgets. To protect domestic industry, the remedy that country B’s government will most likely use, after much lobbying from said injured industry, is anti-dumping duties. These force up the price of widgets imported from country A, thereby leveling the competitive playing field. Simple but ingenious, no? Well, no. Where do we consumers of widgets stand in all this? Nowhere, is the … Read More »