India: The use of temporary trade barriers
While India did not use antidumping, safeguards, and countervailing measures (temporary trade barriers) prior to 1992, it subsequently came to become the WTO system’s dominant user of those policies. Using detailed product-level data from the World Banks’ Temporary Trade Barriers Database from 1992-2009, we first study India’s use of temporary trade barriers over time, and across products, sectors and targeted countries, to then establish changes in previous patterns that may have taken place during the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. We find that there has been an increase in the stock of products subject to antidumping measures during 1992-2009. Moreover, the percentage of tariff line products affected by an antidumping measure increased during the recent global recession, from 1.82% in 2007 to 4.03% in 2009, and the evidence suggests that such increase is larger than would be predicted by the observed pre-crisis trend. We also find a shift in the incidence of India’s antidumping policy towards China and other developing countries in recent years. Furthermore, another dimension along which India’s antidumping protection increased during 2008-9 was via the failure to remove policies that were imposed prior to the global economic crisis and were supposed to be terminated during the crisis under the five-year ‘Sunset Review’ limit. There was also an increase in India’s use of global safeguard investigations as well as Chinaspecific safeguards during the global economic crisis. However, the process of tariff liberalisation continued during such period, and it is possible that India’s use of temporary trade barriers might have helped it move in that direction.
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