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


“America First” Ethos Emboldens Boeing to Battle Bombardier, Benefiting White-Collar Washington

By Daniel J. Ikenson. July 12, 2017.

US Trade Laws and the Sovereignty Canard

By Daniel J. Ikenson. March 9, 2017.

Impact, Incidence of Chinese Currency Controls Largely Overblown

By Daniel J. Ikenson. The Hill (Online). March 1, 2017.

Cato Studies

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.

Antidumping Fowls Out: U.S.–South Africa Chicken Dispute Highlights the Need for Global Reform

By K. William Watson. Free Trade Bulletin No. 62. October 19, 2015.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Myth of the Magic Bullet

Policy Report. January/February 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.

Countervailing Calamity: How to Stop the Global Subsidies Race

Featuring Daniel J. Ikenson. October 9, 2012. Policy Forum.


The Future of NAFTA: “Hecho en China”?

By Daniel Griswold. November 15, 2006.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Ending the Import-Export Bank

By Sallie James. October 2012.

International Trade Administration

By Tad DeHaven and Chris Edwards. February 2009.