World Trade Report 2009

Trade Policy Commitments and Contingency Measures

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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