The Financial Express

Bangladesh to press India not to continue anti-dumping duty on jute goods

| Updated: July 20, 2021 10:35:17

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The government will place arguments to India next month on why the neighbouring country should not further continue imposing anti-dumping duty on the export of Bangladeshi jute goods, officials said.

India started conducting 'sunset review' last month on the import of Bangladeshi jute goods to further enhance the tenure of the anti-dumping duty.

Before that, the Indian domestic industries requested their government for the continuation of the duty so that Bangladeshi products can not hurt their business.

India imposed anti-dumping duty on Bangladesh's jute yarn, hessian, and bags, ranging between US$19 and $352 per tonne, in January 2017 for a period of five years, which will expire in January next year.

According to the anti-dumping agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) 'sunset review' is a process of extending the validity of anti-dumping duty for five more years through an investigation.

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) recently held a meeting to set the next course of action, as India started the review process.

Hafizur Rahman, Director General of the MoC WTO Cell, told the FE on Friday that the Indian authority sent a questioner and copy of the application, submitted by its domestic industry.

Bangladeshi jute goods exporters will answer the questions, and after that, the MoC will argue whether the 'sunset review' or further extension of the duty for five more years is correct or not.

The government will place the points, where the imposition of the duty was legally inconsistent. A hearing on this issue will be held virtually next month, and then Bangladesh will submit a position paper in written, he added.

The imposition of the anti-dumping duty has been seriously hampering the export of Bangladeshi jute goods to India, businesses said.

Since the imposition of the duty, Bangladesh repeatedly tried at different levels, but India did not agree to lift it.

In the last commerce secretary-level meeting Bangladesh side argued that the anti-dumping investigations were not conducted in line with the WTO rules. Thus the duties on Bangladeshi goods should be withdrawn immediately.

Trade expert Dr Mostafa Abid Khan earlier told the FE that the only option left for Bangladesh to get the anti-dumping duty lifted is to seek the help of the WTO's dispute settlement body.

"If we don't challenge the arbitrary steps of India in the WTO, it will continue the anti-dumping duty for an indefinite period by conducting sunset reviews," said Mr Khan, a former member of the Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC).

Apart from jute goods, India, in April 2017, imposed anti-dumping duty, ranging between $27.81 and $91.47 per tonne, on the export of hydrogen peroxide from Bangladesh. In 2018, it also slapped similar duty, amounting to $2.69 per kilogramme, on the export of fishing net.

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