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CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL TRADE LIBERALIZATION IN THE FINANCIAL CRISIS CONTEXT

Abstract

This research paper is based on an assessment of the effects of the recent financial crisis on the international trade and the way states and international organizations acted in this context. The importance of this research topic consists in identifying the way the international trade liberalization process has been affected by the financial crisis and the way anti-crisis measures deviated from the basic rules agreed under the aegis of WTO/GATT. The intended purpose of the paper is to conduct a substantive assessment of undertaken actions by the various states aimed to mitigate crisis impact on anti-dumping investigations and measures. Precisely, it was assayed whether the international financial crisis has been an opportunity for WTO member states to plainly intervene in the economy and give up the commitments they made in the context of multilateral commercial negotiations. Considering the international, regional and national effects of the crisis the topic has been copiously elaborated on by economics literature. A number of anti-crisis measures were presented encouraging massive intervention in the economy, as well as actions, particularly of International Organizations according to which measures could be taken without deviating from globally agreed mechanisms and principles. In order to be able to find out which of these two options prevailed in actions undertaken by the states the types of international, regional or national anti-crisis measures were selected. Positions voiced by the World Trade Organization, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), European Union are rendered. To answer the question about the way it has been responded in order to mitigate crisis effects, adopted anti-crisis measures were inventoried and their deviation from international rules was assessed. One of the indicators used in the assessment of anti-crisis measures is the progress of the anti-dumping investigations and measures notified to WTO in the past 9 years for which data were available (2003-2009). The relevance of this period lies in the fact that it includes 5 pre-crisis years and 2 years when it was strongly evident. It was found that the number of anti-crisis investigations and measures has not seen significant increases during the crisis period. Moreover, it has been found that states have shown a certain amount of flexibility in construing application of certain international principles rather than relinquishing them.It is thereby demonstrated that the international trade liberalization process continues without major disruptions by the financial crisis. This gives confidence to states and business environment with respect to predictability of international trade developments. The paper has significant added value brought about by both literature processing and interpretation and the author's experience in international trade negotiations. The very election of the indicator pertaining to anti-dumping investigations and measures was based on the fact that changing trade defence mechanisms into protectionist mechanisms often stands for prevailing immediate crisis resolution.financial crisis, antidumping investigations and measures, trade liberalization, state aid, preferential trade systems

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This paper was published in Research Papers in Economics.

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