Geneva: The number of new anti-dumping investigations fell by nearly half in the first six months of this year, and the number of anti-dumping measures fell by one-fifth, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Tuesday.
The declines in anti-dumping investigations and measures, suggesting an easing of trade tensions globally, run counter to widespread fears of growing protectionism around the world.
WTO said in a statement that 13 of its 151 members had initiated 49 new anti-dumping investigations in the first half of this year, a 47% decline on the 92 initiations a year earlier.
A total of 16 members applied 57 new anti-dumping measures, a 20% fall on the 71 measures a year earlier.
WTO rules allow member states to charge duties on imports that are being sold, or dumped, in their market at below the cost of production in the home country.
A country that believes it is being targeted by these unfair imports must first investigate the case before imposing anti-dumping measures.
In the latest case on Monday, European steel producers lodged a complaint with the European Union (EU) about cheap imports from China, Taiwan and South Korea, demanding corrective duties.
China was the most frequent subject of new investigations, with 16 initiations in the first half of this year, down from 31 a year earlier.
Taiwan, the EU and South Korea were the second most frequent subjects, with four cases each.
India was the most active initiator of new investigations, followed by New Zealand and South Korea.
The products most frequently subject to the new investigations in the first half of 2007 were in chemicals, with 24 initiations, followed by pulp and paper with nine and plastics with six.