Negotiating History & Subsequent Interpretation

James P. Durling & Matthew R. Nicely

As normal tariffs and the various non-tariff barriers to trade are phased out throughout the world under the various agreements of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), more and more countries are turning to “sanctioned” forms of import protection.  By far the most common of these are the measures permitted under the Agreement on Implementation of Article VI of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 — more commonly known as the Anti-Dumping Agreement.  Anti-dumping measures have become the protectionist tool of choice, given the ubiquitous yet largely innocuous act of inter-market price discrimination, combined with the relatively low “material injury” threshold that must be met in order to justify these measures. 

Few issues in the history of the GATT and WTO have triggered as much sustained interest and controversy as the issue of “dumping” and the appropriate response to this so-called “unfair trade” activity under international regulatory law.   Most recently, the continuing controversy over whether even to put anti-dumping on the agenda for the new Doha Development Round threatened to derail the whole effort.  Having obtained the right to counteract dumping, active users of anti-dumping measures vigorously defend what many view as an end-run around the fundamental principles of the GATT.  Few other trade issues have such a long and controversial history.

In their book Understanding the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement: Negotiating History and Subsequent Interpretation, Jim Durling and Matt Nicely provide a much-needed resource to explain to practitioners, national authorities, and scholars the detailed history behind the various provisions of this important agreement.  It is also the hope of the authors that their book will prove useful to WTO Member nation negotiators as they seek to find ways to improve on the existing agreement during the course of Doha Round.

Organized to follow the order of the various articles of the Anti-Dumping Agreement, the book  provides:

-           a summary of the changes made from the Tokyo Round Code, including where relevant a blackline version to highlight material changes to the text;

-           excerpts from the seven different negotiating drafts on the way to the final Uruguay Round text, including where relevant a blackline version to highlight changes being made from version to version;

-           excerpts from the various panel and Appellate Body decisions addressing each provision of the Agreement, through December 31, 2001; and

-           commentary about the negotiating history of the underlying provision, the precedents to date, and the open issues to be addressed in future negotiations or future dispute settlement.

With all of these documents collected in one place, and with plans to provide updated analysis of new precedent and commentary, this book is a must for anyone who considers themselves a student of the Anti-Dumping Agreement.

ISBN 10: 1 874698 93 7

ISBN 13: 978 1 874698 93 7

• Hardback • 688pp • 2002 • £125.00