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The China-U.S. Trade Law Blog has not posted a new article in a while, but mostly because Elliot Feldman and John Burke have been working on a major article – Testing The Limits Of Trade Law Rationality: The GPX Case and Subsidies in Non-Market Economies for the American University Law Review.  It will be published this week and we are pleased to provide a link here.

Introduction

Chinese merchandise has been the subject of most international trade disputes, all over the world, for several years. All of China’s principal trading partners, including the United States, Japan, and the European Union, treat China as a non-market economy (NME), applying special methodologies for determining whether Chinese enterprises are exporting merchandise at less than fair value. However, until 2006 the recognition of China as an NME meant that unfair trade allegations were based on pricing theories for antidumping, never government programs or actions unfairly subsidizing exported merchandise. The general rule was that government subsidies are countervailable only when they distort markets, and NMEs have no markets to distort.

The United States began launching simultaneous antidumping (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations of Chinese merchandise after the November 2006 congressional elections. This change in practice inevitably triggered legal disputes that collectivized under the banner of GPX, an American importer of off the- road tires (OTR Tires) from China. The U.S. Court of International Trade (CIT) and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) were asked to decide whether CVD investigations into merchandise from NMEs were in accordance with law and, if they were, whether they could be conducted simultaneously with antidumping investigations. The United States Congress, unhappy with the decisions of the appellate court, swiftly rewrote the law. The constitutionality of the revised statute then was challenged in the same courts.

多年来,中国产品在世界各国都是贸易救济调查的首选目标。中国的主要贸易伙伴——美国、日本、欧盟都将中国视为非市场经济,用特殊计算方法计算中国产品面临的反倾销税率。然而在2006年之前,非市场经济计算方法只适用于反倾销案件,对反补贴案件并不适用。当时的准则为:只有当政府补贴扰乱市场时才适用反补贴措施,而非市场经济体中不存在市场。
从2006年11月国会中期选举开始,美国开始针对中国产品同时展开反倾销、反补贴(“双反”)调查。这一转变引发了GPX为代表的一系列案件,GPX是从中国进口轮胎的美国进口商。美国国际贸易法庭以及美国联邦巡回区上诉庭双双面临需判定对非市场经济体出口展开反补贴调查是否合法的难题。同时,如果可对非市场经济体展开反补贴调查,可否同时展开反倾销调查?美国国会对上诉庭判决不满,立即迅速修改法律。随即,两个法庭又需回答修改后的贸易法是否符合美国宪法这一新难题。
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