Discussion Paper Details

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Title: US Special Safeguard on Imports of Tires from China: Imposing Pain for Little Gain

Author(s): Steve Charnovitz and Bernard Hoekman

Publication Date: November 2012

Keyword(s): accession, adjustment, China, globalization, safeguards, Trade disputes and WTO

Programme Area(s): International Trade and Regional Economics

Abstract: In 2009, the United States imposed additional tariffs for a three-year period on imports of automotive tires from China under a special-safeguard provision included in China?s Protocol of Accession to the WTO. China challenged the measure in the WTO. The case marked the first WTO dispute in which a challenged safeguard was upheld by the Appellate Body; the first in which an accession protocol was used successfully as a defense; and the first that China lost as a complaining party. It also was noteworthy in that the safeguard was sought by a labor union, and not the domestic industry. This paper reviews the WTO Appellate Body?s findings and discusses a number of the legal and policy implications regarding China?s Accession Protocol, the Safeguards Agreement, and WTO accession law, as well as economic aspects of the case.

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Bibliographic Reference

Charnovitz, S and Hoekman, B. 2012. 'US Special Safeguard on Imports of Tires from China: Imposing Pain for Little Gain'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.