Over the past decade, China and India have rapidly increased their use of antidumping laws, the world’s most dominant form of trade protectionism, against their trading partners. Yet, this behavior has triggered little concern in the United States and Europe. Why? Two leading theories suggest that the recent spike in Indian and Chinese antidumping measures is temporary. Moreover, the balance of benefits under existing international legal rules continues to favor American and European producers. As a result, the United States and European Union have viewed attempts to reform global antidumping laws as against their interests.
This Article challenges this conventional wisdom. It argues that India and China’s antidumping regimes pose a larger long-term threat to the global trade regime than is commonly believed. Through novel empirical tests of the two leading theories, I demonstrate why China and India’s recent increase in antidumping protectionism is not temporary and not destined to level off. Instead, as more industries discover the benefits of antidumping laws and as China takes a more aggressive retaliatory stance against its trading partners, both countries’ use of antidumping sanctions will likely continue to increase. To guard against this increased protectionism, this Article argues that World Trade Organization members should reverse their opposition to reforming global antidumping rules and instead enact proposals that place greater restrictions on antidumping laws. It highlights why the present moment is an opportune time for reform, but notes that the window for reform is likely to close as China and India acquire increased economic strength.