Trade Remedies and World Trade Organization Dispute Settlement: Why Are So Few Challenged?
Antidumping and related trade remedies are the most popular policy instruments that many of the largest importing countries in the World Trade Organization (WTO) system use to restrict international trade. This paper empirically investigates the trade remedy and WTO dispute settlement interaction by focusing on determinants of WTO members’ decisions of whether to challenge U.S. trade remedies imposed between 1992 and 2003. While I confirm that the size of the economic market at stake and the capacity to retaliate under potentially authorized sanctions influence the decision to formally challenge a measure, I also find that if the negatively affected foreign industry has the capacity to directly retaliate through a reciprocal antidumping measure of its own, its government is less likely to pursue the case on its behalf at the WTO. I speculate that potential complainants may be avoiding WTO litigation in favor of pursuing reciprocal antidumping and hence “vigilante justice.”
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