The number of anti-dumping probes launched by trading nations against alleged unfairly-priced imports fell sharply in the first six months of the year, the World Trade Organization said on Oct. 30. Between January and June 2007, 13 WTO members reported a total of 49 new investigations against importers, compared with 92 initiations in the first six months of 2006, according to the WTO. The WTO gave no reason for the sharp decline.
Chinese companies remained the most frequent target of suspicions that they sold exported goods at a lower price than on their home market, with 16 fresh probes directed at exports from China. But the number of complaints lodged against Chinese companies was about half the number recorded during the same period last year.
Taiwan, EU nations and South Korea were the second most frequent subjects, with four new investigations.
Under WTO rules, countries may impose anti-dumping measures -- normally a duty on imports of a particular product -- after their own investigation if the imported item is being sold for less than the "normal" cost on its home market.
India was the biggest user of the WTO system during the first six months of 2007, launching 13 probes on imports into its home market, followed by New Zealand (six), South Korea (five) and Brazil, China and Japan (four each).
Nearly half of the probes involved the pricing of chemicals.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007