Concerns about a range of anti-dumping actions taken by WTO members on imported steel continued to dominate discussions at a meeting of the WTO’s Committee on Anti-Dumping Practices.
China’s Protocol of Accession
China once again reminded members that provisions under Section 15 of its 2001 Protocol of Accession to the WTO relating to the “surrogate” methodology in anti-dumping investigations will expire on 11 December 2016. According to these provisions, when Chinese producers cannot clearly show that market economy conditions prevail, an investigating authority may use a surrogate (or analogue) country methodology that, according to China, results in much higher prices than those reported by Chinese producers (and thus higher anti-dumping duties). Once this expires, China said, members will not be allowed to use this surrogate methodology and must conduct their investigations in compliance with the general rule fixed under the ADA and use Chinese prices or costs as the basis for calculating the dumping margin. China said it appreciated the commitment of many members to abandon this practice in advance and asked that those still using the surrogate methodology honour their WTO obligations and terminate the use of the surrogate methodology on time.
The United States said that contrary to China’s assertion, the language in the Protocol does not require members to stop using the analogue country methodology in AD investigations; China’s interpretation would deprive the provisions of the protocol that do not expire of any meaning. In order to resolve this, the United States and China should work together to accelerate progress towards an economy in China that is more market-determined so as to avoid continuing this debate in the WTO, the United States said.
Mexico noted there were differences between members on this issue and asked China whether there was room for dialogue on the issue or whether China only considered that other countries should stop using the surrogate methodology. China said there was plenty of dialogue on the issue when it was negotiated 15 years ago and that now was not the appropriate time to be having that dialogue again; it was time for members to start fulfilling their obligations under the Protocol. China added it was ready to discuss with members how to fulfill their commitments under the Protocol before 11 December.