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Safeguards & AntiDumping in Latin American Trade Liberalization: Fighting Fire with Fire

Latin American countries’ use of safeguards and antidumping measures is not undermining continent-wide movement towards trade liberalization, says a World Bank study, "Safeguards and Antidumping in Latin American Trade Liberalization—Fighting Fire with Fire”, published December 2005.

The case studies presented in the book show that skilled institutionalization of WTO-sanctioned trade defense or contingent protection instruments has served to increase the scope and depth of trade liberalization in these countries in the past quarter-century.

Examining studies from seven WTO member countries—Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Peru—editors J. Michael Finger and Julio J. Nogués highlight the judicious creation and economically sound management of safeguards (temporary restriction on import of a product when the domestic industry is facing a severe threat) and antidumping (restriction on exporting a product at a lower price than in the domestic market) measures as part of domestic policy.

“Creating trade defense mechanisms which by definition impose rather than remove import restrictions raises the distinct possibility of indiscriminate use,” said L. Alan Winters, Director of the World Bank’s Development Research Group. “The momentum of liberalization was maintained by courageously managing industry pressures so that exceptional situations of import competition were taken care of—and remained exceptions.”

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