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Argentina: There and Back Again?

By Michael Owen Moore


Argentina, once a prominent example of the 'Washington consensus', took dramatic steps to reduce its integration in the world economy in the aftermath of the peso crisis in 2001. This pattern might suggest that the Argentine government would turn aggressively to contingent protection measures such as antidumping and safeguards in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. The data suggest that the share of imports subject to ongoing Argentine contingent protection measures (especially antidumping) has increased from about 1.2% of total imports in 2006 to about 2.7% in 2009. If one considers the impact of suppressed imports, this rises to an estimated 5% in 2009. Argentine antidumping use has retained its focus on developing countries. However, while in earlier periods Brazil was the most frequent target, almost all of the recent antidumping activity has been focused very narrowly on China, a pattern that predates the 2008 crisis. While Argentina has certainly become more aggressive in its use of antidumping since the 1990s, there is little to suggest that it has done so specifically in the wake of the crisis. Instead, Argentine import restrictions are increasingly focused on China alone.

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