The world’s trading nations reined in anti-dumping action in the first half of the year with a 29 percent drop in probes into cheap imports, World Trade Organization (WTO) data showed on Monday. China continued to be the main country targeted by such investigations although the pace declined, while India was the top user of the anti-dumping system, according to the WTO data for the period between January and June 30, 2010. The global trade body gave no reasons for the trend as the global economy was recovering, although heightened anti-dumping action is often taken as a sign of greater protectionist pressures. Nineteen WTO members launched 69 investigations into suspected dumping — selling exported goods at below domestic production price — compared to 97 during the same period a year earlier. (OP) ====== Irish bank: Don’t charge for late mortgage payments
DUBLIN, Reuters Ireland’s central bank told lenders on Monday not to impose extra charges or interest on mortgage customers who are cooperating with their banks to deal with their financial difficulties. The central bank had already in February required banks, which are heavily exposed to residential mortgages, to wait a year before applying for repossession orders. That has kept repossession levels low but markets are nervous that mortgages could push Ireland into further trouble if government budget cuts drive unemployment higher, interest rates rise and house prices slump further. “Lenders have been directed not to impose arrears charges or surcharge interest on borrowers who are in arrears and who are co-operating with the new Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) with effect from Jan. 1, 2011,” the bank said in a statement, referring to a framework that all lenders have to use when dealing with customers in arrears or at risk of getting into difficulties.