- Posted by Dr. Marina Foltea
- On June 8, 2016
- anti-dumping, dispute settlement, Egypt, producers, subsidies, trade remedies
Trade Pacts expert Dr González-Rojas visited Cairo during May to assist in the training of government officials at the Egyptian Ministry of Trade and Industry. The training focused on the use of trade remedies in accordance with World Trade Organization (WTO) law.
The invitation, direct from the Egyptian government, comes at a time when the northeast African country is looking to bolster its ability to identify and react to unfair trade practices that may affect its domestic producers and to assess the legality of certain trade remedy practices that other WTO Members have adopted.
During the first phase of the fortnight’s exercise, Dr Gonzalez-Rojas presented the WTO legal landscape regarding subsidies, antidumping measures, and safeguards. Together with the Egyptian investigating authority, he also reviewed Egypt’s experience in the WTO dispute settlement mechanism, and such cases involving the use of trade remedies. The workshop included a brainstorming session with investigating authority officials on challenges they currently face in fulfilling their mandate, and how those challenges may be addressed.
The session, says Dr Gonzalez-Rojas, was very well received and the willingness of Egyptian officials to further their trade knowledge is clear. “During this two-week exercise, I perceived a genuine interest and enthusiasm on the part of the Egyptian officials to learn more about the correct use of trade remedies,” he said.
Egypt, like several developing countries in similar circumstances, is still in the process of establishing and strengthening its internal capacity to conduct diligent investigations aimed at imposing effective and WTO-consistent trade remedy measures. Achieving this requires a concerted effort by governments, and a significant investment of resources to train those officials directly involved in investigations.
“Developing a defensive system to protect those domestic producers that may be affected by trade remedy measures of other governments demands considerable work,” explains Dr Gonzalez-Rojas. “To achieve a balance in the global trading system, it is extremely important that those countries whose exports and markets have the potential for growth receive affordable assistance that enables them to start or continue building and improving their internal capacity to capitalise on international commitments.”
Dr Gonzalez-Rojas adds that there is no doubt that the use of contingency measures obstructs the free circulation of goods. “Trade remedies and the WTO rules in this area should probably be clarified so as to leave less room for discretion,” he says. “Yet, what is also undeniable is that if we want a fair global trading system, we need to level the playing field for all participants.”
Trade Pacts aims to continue its mandate of contributing to these efforts and commits to providing affordable, albeit first-rate, assistance in this field.
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