The rule based multilateral trading system created by World Trade Organization (WTO) recognizes that in pursuing liberal and open trade policies, countries may have to use trade remedy measures such as anti-dumping countervailing or safeguard measures in cases where their domestic agricultural producers or manufacturing industries are hurt or injured by imports.
However, such trade remedy measures can be applied only after investigations undertaken in accordance with the detailed rules laid down by the Agreements on Anti-dumping Practices (ADP), Subsidies and Countervailing Measures and on Safeguards, it is established that increased imports are causing injury to the domestic agricultural producers or industry. As a result, over sixty developing countries, most of which are least developed or countries at lower stages of development, which have not been able to establish such framework because of financial and other constraints are not able to make effective use of the rights which these Agreements provide.
The paper suggests that in the situation, the least developed and other developing countries which have not been able to establish legal and institutional framework for applying all of the three trade remedy measures, should be permitted to apply only safeguard measures, which from the administrative point of view would require only modest staff, by adopting an Understanding.
It is also in this context important to note that after the conclusion of the Doha Round, all developing countries would be able to apply to agricultural products, special safeguard measures if the price of imports falls below specified price trigger or their volume exceeds specified trigger, irrespective of whether the imported goods which are causing injury are being dumped or being subsidized. The need to apply safeguard measures in accordance with the provision of the Understanding clarifying the rules of the Safeguard Agreement would arise only in a few cases of manufactured products where domestic industries complain that the increased imports are causing serious injury to them.Journal of World Trade