Accident and Injury

Injury and the GATT Policy Negotiations

In relation to the GATT Policy Negotiations, Christopher Mark (1993) provided the following explanation and/or definition of Injury: In the GATT context, refers to economic damage sustained by workers or firms in an industry as a consequence of foreign competition or unfair trade practices. Under GATT rules and variousGATT Codes as well as under US law, mechanisms are established for determining whether injury has occurred or is threatened, as a prerequisite for taking countermeasures (see injury test). Different gradations of injury are referred to in US law and international discussions; the two most prominent are:

* Material injury –Antidumping and countervailing duty cases are based on findings of “material” injury (including the threat of material injury, and the “material retardation” of a new, emerging industry). Rather than define material injury, the GATT Subsidies Code lists factors that may be taken into account in determining its existence, including an actual or potential decline in output, sales, market share, profits, prices, or employment, and in the case of agricultural subsidies, whether there has been an increased burden on government support programs. Material injury is defined by the US Trade Act of 1979 (Sec.IV) as “harm which is not inconsequential, immaterial or unimportant.”

* Serious injury –Safeguard or escape clause actions require a finding of “serious” injury to a domestic industry .GA n jurisprudence is ambiguous on the meaning of this term, but GATT legal experts assert that it is meant to be a higher standard than material injury –reasoning that the escape clause is designed to respond to situations which do not involve allegations of unfair action by foreign exporters, so that its standard for establishing injury should be the most rigorous. Under US trade law (see escape clause, Sec.IV), factors mentioned in determinations of serious injury include the significant idling of productive facilities of an industry; the inability of a significant number of firms in the industry to operate at a reasonable level of profit; and significant unemployment or underemployment within the industry.



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