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Unfair trade practices on rise: WTO

business Updated: Oct 22, 2008 20:30 IST

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Unfair trade practices across the border is on rise with the number of investigations into the practice of dumping, or exporting a product at an unfairly low price, surging by 39 per cent in the first half of this year, the World Trade Organisation said.

Some 16 members of WTO initiated 85 new investigations in the first six months of this year, compared with 61 investigations in the same period last year a 39 per cent jump, the organisation noted.

The number of new measures deployed by countries to protect their industries from dumping also increased between January and June this year, the WTO's Secretariat said.

The statistics were released at a time of mounting international concern about the future of so-called Doha round of trade liberalisation talks, which have stalled.

Dumping occurs when a manufacturer in one country exports a product to another at a price either below the price charged in the home country or below the cost of production.

Most of the investigations were into alleged dumping of products in the base metal sector (21 initiations), followed by textiles (20 initiations) and chemicals (10 initiations).

Turkey recorded the highest number of initiations, with 13, followed by the United States, India, Argentina, the European Communities, Brazil, Australia and Colombia.

China was the most frequent subject of new investigations, with 37 or nearly half the entire total directed at its exports. Thailand was the subject of seven investigations, and the European Communities and Indonesia were each the subject of five.