Internationally anti-dumping investigations are conducted under the rules of the
World Trade Organization (WTO) Anti-Dumping Agreement (AD Agreement). 1
Where a WTO member is not satisfied with the procedures used in an investigation
by the importing country, it may refer the matter to the WTO Dispute Settlement
Body, which will then appoint a panel to investigate whether the investigation was
conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement. The aggrieved
member raises the specific issues it wants the panel to consider and specifies the
relevant provisions of the relevant Agreement.2 Strictly speaking, these rulings
only apply to the parties to the dispute and although stare decisis does not apply,
these rulings provide insight into whether a future panel would uphold or strike
down a member’s procedures. South African anti-dumping procedures have been
challenged in the WTO on four occasions,3 but to date no dispute involving South
Africa has progressed to a panel.
In 2013 the panel in China – X-ray Equipment4 was requested to consider
several issues, including China’s injury and causality findings. These findings are
scrutinised in this paper and used to determine to which extent South African
procedures meet the requirements of the Agreement. The paper first sets out the injury and causality requirements of the AD Agreement, followed by the
like provisions in South Africa’s legislation and highlighting any differences.
It then analyses the findings in China – X-ray Equipment, before evaluating
South Africa’s procedures. It concludes with recommendations on how the South
African procedures could be improved.