World Trade Report 2009

Trade Policy Commitments and Contingency Measures

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One of the main objectives of this Report is to analyze whether WTO provisions provide a balance between supplying governments with necessary flexibility to face difficult economic situations and adequately defining them in a way that limits their use for protectionist purposes. In analysing this question, the Report focuses primarily on contingency measures available to WTO members when importing and exporting goods. These measures include the use of safeguards, such as tariffs and quotas, in specified circumstances, anti-dumping duties on goods that are deemed to be “dumped”, and countervailing duties imposed to offset subsidies. The Report also discusses alternative policy options, including the renegotiation of tariff commitments, the use of export taxes, and increases in tariffs up to their legal maximum ceiling or binding. The analysis includes consideration of legal, economic and political economy factors that influence the use of these measures and their associated benefits and costs.

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The World Trade Report 2009 was prepared under the general direction of Deputy Director-General Alejandro Jara and supervised by Patrick Low, Director of the Economic Research and Statistics Division, The principal authors of the Report were Marc Bacchetta, K. Michael Finger, Marion Jansen, Alexander Keck, Coleman Nee, Roberta Piermartini, Michele Ruta and Robert Teh. Trade statistics information was provided by the Statistics Group of the Economic Research and Statistics Division, coordinated by Hubert Escaith, Julia de Verteuil, Andreas Maurer and Jürgen Richtering. Other written contributions were provided by Rudolf Adlung, Lee-Ann Jackson, Jesse Kreier and Hiromi Yano.

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