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Application of WTO Law to Disputed Territories: A Fresh Perspective Arising from Annexation of Crimea and Recent Antidumping Investigation against Imports from China

On 17 August, the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (comprising Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Russia) announced an anti-dumping investigation into imports of titanium dioxide from China. Typically, such investigations are initiated on the basis of a written application submitted “by or on behalf of a domestic industry” (Article 5.1 of the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement). Yet, in this instance, the domestic industry asking for the imposition of anti-dumping duties is a company located in Crimea, annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014. This raises the question of compliance with WTO law within the context of trade remedy investigations: whether producers located in Crimea could be considered a “domestic industry” of Russia in the meaning of the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement. It remains uncertain how a WTO dispute settlement panel might answer this question. From the perspective of public international law, Crimea still belongs to Ukraine. This view has been expressed by the UN General Assembly. In particular, General Assembly Resolution…

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