Maintaining WTO discipline: Procedural guidelines versus economic substance in GATT/WTO safeguards

02/04/2013 12:00 - 739 total view

J. Michael Finger
WTO rules for safeguards have helped individual WTO Members to discipline domestic protectionist interests and to advance a generally liberal trade policy stance. This constructive use of safeguards and other trade remedies has been more effectively supported by the parts of the rules that deal with procedure (e.g., participation of interested parties) than by those parts that attempt to specify the circumstances in which an import restriction is permitted (e.g., serious injury to a domestic industry that results from imports). The chapter advances these points by describing how Latin American reformers used safeguards and anti-dumping as part of the liberalizations they have put in place in recent decades. It also documents the evolution in the United States of trade policy institutions such as the USTR and the Industry-Trade Advisory Committees and ‘Section 301’ have and how safeguard procedures have come to provide import users a critical role.