Dumping Claims Up
GENEVA — A total of 13 antidumping cases targeting the textile and apparel trade were brought to the World Trade Organization last year, up from nine in 2002.
But the WTO report in 2003 indicated that only five cases of dumping had occurred compared with 29 the previous year. Dumping investigations can take more than a year to resolve, which makes it possible for more findings than complaints to take place in a year, as happened in 2002.
Trade diplomats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said several WTO decisions on textiles in the last year have had what one called “a chilling effect” on the imposition of antidumping measures.
For instance, India last year won a case in which the European Union had imposed antidumping measures on imports of Indian cotton bed linens.
Dumping occurs when an exporter sells goods abroad at a lower price than in the country of origin or at below cost.
Looking at all categories of merchandise, 210 antidumping cases were launched last year by the organization, down from 311 launched in 2002. India brought 46 cases in 2003, more than any other WTO member. The second-ranked U.S. brought 37 cases and China brought 22.
China was the most common target of antidumping complaints, facing 45 last year.
U.S. Tops Productivity Ranks
GENEVA — The U.S. retained the top slot as the world’s most competitive economy in 2004, though the emergence of Asian nations presents a major challenge, according to a global survey published this month.
Asia, led by China and India — both global players in the textile and apparel trade — “will generate a major shift in world competitiveness,” said the report by the Lausanne, Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development.
The agency said the new competitors “don’t only provide manufacturing or services to Western companies, they compete in their own right with their own brands….They will brutally assail the competitiveness of the U.S. and Europe, as Japan did over the decades…but on a much wider scale.”
Stéphane Garelli, a professor at the IMD who directed the “World Competitiveness Yearbook” report, said in an interview that industries such as “textiles, apparel, footwear, consumer electronics, software development and basic computers” in developed nations will have “no chance” to compete with the lower labor costs of the developing world.
The IMD survey compares the competitiveness of 60 economies based on 323 criteria, including gross domestic product, direct investment and levels of infrastructure, as well as an executive opinion survey. In 2004, China gained five slots to be ranked 24th, Taiwan improved five rankings to 12th, Hong Kong moved up four places to sixth and India advanced 16 places to 34th.
Germany dropped one ranking to 21st, France slipped seven slots to 30th, the U.K. fell three rankings to 22nd, Italy decreased 10 spots to 51st and Mexico dipped three spots to 56th.
— John Zarocostas