On 19 October, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced its determination that Belarus continues to be a non-market economy (NME) country under the U.S. antidumping law, trade.gov reports.
“As a result of today’s determination, Commerce will continue to treat Belarus as an NME for purposes of calculating dumping margins in Commerce’s antidumping cases. Commerce’s determination stems from a request by the Government of Belarus for Commerce to reexamine its status as an NME.
The Government of Belarus made this request in the context of changed circumstances reviews of the U.S. antidumping orders on imports of steel concrete reinforcing bars and alloy steel wire rod from Belarus. Commerce’s determination is based on an objective, fact-based analysis of six statutory factors set out in the U.S. antidumping law.”
In 2019, the government of Belarus appealed to the U.S. Department of Commerce with a request to review the status to simplify the export of metal products. The problem is that producers’ costs in non-market economies are considered low and are credited with significant competitive advantages.
In October 2019, the Ministry of Economy of Belarus signed an agreement with Crowell & Moring on legal support of the process of transferring Belarus from the status of a country with a non-market economy to the status of a country with a market economy. The company has had a positive experience in accompanying such procedures.
The Ministry of Economy of Belarus hoped that “in addition to the obvious economic benefits, in the context of the normalization of Belarusian-American relations, a positive solution to this issue will have serious image advantages for our country in the international trade system.” In addition, obtaining the status of a market economy could have contributed to fostering of non-discriminatory obligations of Belarus when joining the WTO.
Belarus automatically inherited the status of a country with a non-market economy after the collapse of the USSR. Previously, the economies of Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania have successfully revised their status.