I'm feeling nit-picky again today. In an article criticizing the U.S. tariffs on Chinese tires, the Economist writes:
Even now Mr Obama insists he is “committed to pursuing expanded trade and new trade agreements”, and this week he defended his action as nothing more than the enforcement of trade laws.
That, however, is a stretch. Mr Obama had no obligation to act. Under the terms of joining the WTO, China gave other countries the right until 2013 to impose temporary “safeguards” against surges of Chinese imports. In America the relevant law, Section 421 of the Trade Act, does not require proof that China has broken international trade rules against subsidising or dumping goods (ie, selling below cost), only that the domestic industry was disrupted. (emphasis added)
But are there really any "international trade rules against dumping"? Sure, GATT Article VI says that injurious dumping is to be "condemned." And, of course, under GATT Article VI and the AD Agreement, WTO Members are permitted to impose anti-dumping duties as a response. But there is no prohibition in international trade rules against dumping itself (whether injurious or not). That is to say, you can't bring a WTO complaint alleging that foreign companies are dumping.
Speaking of dumping, is Coke "dumping" its products in the U.S.? Matthew Yglesias writes:
I’m one of those “drinks a ton of Diet Coke” people, and thus every time I come to Europe I find myself dismayed at the cost of soda over here. Does anyone have a good explanation of why it’s so much more expensive than in the US?