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US Special Safeguard on Imports of Tires from China: Imposing Pain for Little Gain

  • Charnovitz, Steve
  • Hoekman, Bernard

In 2009, the United States imposed additional tariffs for a three-year period on imports of automotive tires from China under a special-safeguard provision included in China’s Protocol of Accession to the WTO. China challenged the measure in the WTO. The case marked the first WTO dispute in which a challenged safeguard was upheld by the Appellate Body; the first in which an accession protocol was used successfully as a defense; and the first that China lost as a complaining party. It also was noteworthy in that the safeguard was sought by a labor union, and not the domestic industry. This paper reviews the WTO Appellate Body’s findings and discusses a number of the legal and policy implications regarding China’s Accession Protocol, the Safeguards Agreement, and WTO accession law, as well as economic aspects of the case.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9217.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9217
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  1. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2003. "US – Lamb: United States – Safeguard Measures on Imports of Fresh, Chilled or Frozen Lamb Meat from New Zealand and Australia: What Should be Required of a Safeguard Investigation?," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(S1), pages 72-114, January.
  2. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Sean Lowry, 2012. "US Tire Tariffs: Saving Few Jobs at High Cost," Policy Briefs PB12-9, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  3. Chad P. Bown & Meredith A. Crowley, 2010. "China's export growth and the China safeguard: threats to the world trading system?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1353-1388, November.
  4. Sykes, Alan O., 2003. "The safeguards mess: a critique of WTO jurisprudence," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 261-295, November.
  5. Chad P. Bown, 2011. "Taking Stock of Antidumping, Safeguards and Countervailing Duties, 1990–2009," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(12), pages 1955-1998, December.
  6. Fabio Spadi, 2002. "Discriminatory Safeguards in the Light of the Admission of the People's Republic of China to the World Trade Organization," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 5(2), pages 421-443, July.
  7. Joonhyung, Lee, 2011. "Who benefited from the US tariffs on the Chinese tires?," MPRA Paper 29705, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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