Anti-dumping measures are frequently used and are highly contentious. Although GATT provided for the right of its contracting parties to impose such measures, its provisions are frequently criticised as lacking the clarity required to prevent evasion and abuse of the rules. The new agreement seeks to remedy this situation. Significant changes include :
• Acceptance of the principle that firms, may under certain conditions, during their start-up period, sell up to 20% of their production at a loss.
• Clarification of the rules relating to anti-dumping procedures and the conduct of investigation. The new, rules largely reflect long established practices.
• Introduction of a sunset clause which will result in a five yearly review of all anti – dumping actions.
• Inclusion of a de minimise rule which will terminate anti dumping actions against small volume imports or those that produce a negligible effect on trade.
• Implementation of new rules relating to the tabling of complaints – complainants must in most cases represent a majority of domestic producers in the relevant market. In certain circumstances complainants representing 75% to 50% of the market may table complaints.
• Establishment of a committee on Anti-dumping practices.