Anti-dumping probes surge 39 percent in first half of 2008: WTO

GENEVA, October 20, 2008 (AFP) – The number of anti-dumping probes launched by trading nations against alleged unfairly-priced imports surged 39 percent in the first half of the year, with China a key target, the WTO said Monday. Between January and June 2008, 16 World Trade Organization members initiated 85 new probes, compared to 61 during the same period last year.

“China was the most frequent subject of new investigations, with nearly one half of all of the new initiations reported for January-June 2008 directed at its exports,” said the trade body, adding that 37 new cases were targeted at Chinese companies.

Thailand was the next most frequent target with seven new investigations launched against its exports, followed by the European Union and Indonesia at five each.

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.

Turkey was the biggest complainant, initiating 13 cases. It was followed by the United States with 12 cases and India with 11.

The most contentious products were in the base metals sector which made up