NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Causing Problems? The WTO Review of Causation and Injury Attribution in U.S. Section 201 Cases

Douglas A. Irwin

NBER Working Paper No. 9815
Issued in July 2003
NBER Program(s):   ITI

U.S. safeguard actions have run into problems with the WTO's Panel and Appellate Body reviews for failing to ensure that injury caused by non-import factors is not attributed to imports. This paper reviews the subtle legal and economic differences between U.S. trade law (Section 201) and the WTO's Agreement on Safeguards on the non-attribution issue. The paper then resurrects the Kelly (1988) method of attributing injury to various factors as a potential method by which the ITC can ensure that future decisions conform with the Safeguards Agreement. The method is shown to yield results that are consistent with recent ITC safeguard decisions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9815

Published: Irwin, Douglas A., 2003. "Causing problems? The WTO review of causation and injury attribution in US Section 201 cases," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 297-325, November. citation courtesy of

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