Reuters Fails to Check Chinese Allegations of US “Protectionism”
Reporting on new criticisms from China of US “protectionism,” Reuters reporter Chris Buckley states:
China has accused the United States of straining their vast economic relationship through a slew of anti-dumping measures, adding to growing tensions between the two global powers….
The warning reflected the increasingly testy trade relations between China and the United States.
Buckley demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of how trade remedies (i.e., anti-dumping, countervailing duty or safeguards) cases are initiated and decided in the United States. Under US law, an anti-dumping investigation results from a petition filed by a private firm (or firms) and/or its union pursuant to commercial interests.
Once a petition is filed, the resulting case is essentially on “autopilot,” with initiation, as well as affirmative preliminary and final determination by DOC and the US International Trade Commission, all but certain. While this automaticity is a common criticism of US trade law, it also makes clear that anti-dumping determinations do not reflect discretionary, “protectionist” decisions by the US government. Moreover, the number of 2009 anti-dumping cases against China was well within recent historical norms. Buckley’s reporting, however, fails to challenge China’s baseless allegations of US “protectionism” by providing this necessary perspective.