New investigations into unfairly priced imports jumped by nearly two fifths in the first half of this year, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said on Monday.
Initiations of new anti-dumping probes from January to June were 39 per cent higher than a year earlier, the WTO said in a statement.
The rise reflected an increase in trade tensions as WTO members struggled to make progress in the long-running Doha round to free up world trade. A meeting of ministers in July collapsed without making a breakthrough in Doha's core areas.
WTO rules allow members to impose extra duties on products that are “dumped” — imported at below their price in the home market — if that damages the importing country's industry.
The WTO said that 16 of its members reported starting 85 new investigations in the six-month period, while in the first half of 2007 the same number of members began 61 probes.
A total of 12 members reported applying 54 new measures as a result of completed anti-dumping investigations in the first half of the year, up slightly from the same period in 2007 when 17 members put in place 51 new measures.
Turkey launched the most new investigations, with 13, followed by the United States with 12, India with 11, and Argentina and the European Union with 10 each.
China was the most frequent subject of such investigations, accounting for 37, an increase of 76 per cent over the number of probes launched against Chinese exports a year earlier. Thailand was next with 7 investigations, followed by the European Union and its individual member states and Indonesia with 5 each.
By sector, base metals accounted for 21 new probes, textiles 20 and chemicals 10.
Countries applying new anti-dumping measures were headed by India with 16, a 78 per cent increase over a year earlier, followed by the European Union with 8 and Indonesia with 5.
Products from China were the most frequent subject of those new measures, accounting for 13 of the 54, a decline of 40 per cent against a year earlier.
Exports from Taiwan came second, with 6 new measures, and exports from the European Union, South Korea, non-WTO member Russia and the United States each attracted 4 new measures.