Source: Taiwantrade | Updated: 02 February 2015
Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs recently announced that it will take a legal challenge to the World Trade Organization (WTO) against Canada for levying anti-dumping duties on steel exports.
The action marks the first time Taiwan has been a sole plaintiff in a challenge lodged via the Geneva-based body.
Due in part to its diplomatic isolation, Taiwan's efforts in securing bilateral and multilateral trade agreements have suffered setbacks amid growing protectionism following the global financial crisis of 2008.
Anti-dumping probes in particular have been a tactic taken against Taiwanese exports.
Taiwan last June launched a WTO challenge against Canada over what it deemed irregular anti-dumping investigatory practices on the part of Canada. In accordance with WTO regulations, the two countries conducted bilateral consultation as an initial stage of formal dispute settlement, but efforts since then have not yielded an accord.
About US$14 million in trade revenues is at stake, according to Jack Hsiao, a negotiator from the Economics Ministry's Office of Trade Negotiations. Ministry statistics show that following the sanctions, revenues from steel exports to Canada plummeted from the US$19 million recorded in 2011 to US$11 million in 2012 and around US$5 million in 2013.
If victorious in its legal challenge, Taiwan would create profound spill-over effects for other ongoing cases such as Canada's other anti-dumping duties levied against Taiwanese oil country tubular goods and metal screws and nuts, worth about US$10 million in revenue, according to Hsiao.
The negotiator said that when Taiwan ran into similar disputes with India, it avoided full-blown legal challenges as the two nations were able to reach an accord during the initial bilateral consultation phase.
Court hearings in the Canada case may begin as early as March or April, with a court decision possible by the end of this year or early in 2016.Hsiao, however, said that Canada would be able to file for an appeal that would delay a conclusion in the case for up to two years. He said Taiwan's government is committed to preserving the interests of local industries regardless of the time and expense required.
Source: Focus Taiwan