The political rationale for so-called “trade remedy” laws is that their existence enables firms in import-competing industries to support a broader agenda of trade liberalization. If recourse to temporary protection is available to industries found to be injured by “unfair trade,” such as dumping or foreign government subsidization, or by unforeseen import surges, then opposition to the reduction of global trade barriers will be attenuated. But that premise has never held up - the same industries that bring trade remedy cases consistently oppose broader trade liberalization. Meanwhile, any plausible economic rationale for imposing duties to “redress” price discrimination, selling below cost, foreign subsidies, or surging imports plainly doesn’t exist.

On this page you will find Cato’s work on the U.S. trade remedy laws (especially the antidumping law), the WTO Antidumping Agreement, the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures, the WTO Safeguards Agreement, the now-expired China-specific safeguard (Section 421 under U.S. law) and other issues related to temporary, contingent protectionism.

More on Antidumping, CVD, Safeguards


Beware the “Unfair Trade” Trap in Any Brexit Deal

By Simon Lester. Brexit Central. August 14, 2018.

Tariffs Would Throw Monkey Wrench into Humming Economy

By Colin Grabow. The Hill (Online). January 8, 2018.

An Aluminum Lining in a Darkening U.S.-China Trade Cloud

By Daniel J. Ikenson. China-US Focus. December 12, 2017.

Cato Studies

Candy-Coated Cartel: Time to Kill the U.S. Sugar Program

By Colin Grabow. Policy Analysis No. 837. April 10, 2018.

Global Steel Overcapacity: Trade Remedy “Cure” Is Worse than the “Disease”

By Daniel R. Pearson. Free Trade Bulletin No. 66. April 11, 2016.

It’s Time to Dump Nonmarket Economy Treatment

By K. William Watson. Free Trade Bulletin No. 65. March 9, 2016.


Dealing with China’s Steel Overcapacity

Featuring Daniel R. Pearson and Daniel J. Ikenson. October 5, 2016. Policy Forum.

The Bitter Taste of Sugar Protectionism: How Congress and the U.S. Sugar Industry Kill Jobs, Raise the Cost of Living for Americans, and Compel U.S. Companies to Move Overseas

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson and Daniel R. Pearson. June 13, 2014. Capitol Hill Briefing.

How U.S. Antidumping Policy Undermines U.S. Competitiveness: A Pro-Reform Perspective

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson. June 28, 2011. Conference.