Dhaka requests Delhi not to impose anti-dumping duty on CFG

REZAUL KARIM | Saturday, 31 July 2021

Bangladesh has requested India not to impose anti-dumping duty (ADD) on its clear float glass (CFG) as such Bangladeshi product was not being exported to the Indian market at dumped prices, officials said.

Dhaka has recently made the request at a virtual meeting.

"We have presented our arguments to the Indian authority concerned, saying that CFG production is not being hampered by exports of Bangladeshi CFG to the Indian market," Md Hafizur Rahman, additional commerce secretary and director general of WTO cell, told the FE on Wednesday.

He, however, said Bangladeshi CFG was not being exported to the neighbouring country at dumped prices.

"We will formally request the Indian authority concerned not to impose ADD on Bangladeshi CFG as early as possible," he added.

Senior officials of foreign and industries ministries and Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission (BTTC) and Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) took part in the meeting.

Earlier, a good number of Indian producers have requested the DGTR under the commerce ministry, and the industry ministry to launch an investigation into the allegation of dumping.

Following the allegation, the Indian authority has already taken initiative for an anti-dumping investigation into export of clear float glass by Bangladeshi producers.

The DGTR on June 17 last told the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi that local industries accused three Bangladeshi exporters of dumping CFG in Indian market.

The names of the companies are PHP Float Glass Industries, Nasir Float Glass Industries Limited and Usmania Glass Sheet Factory Limited.

The DGTR also asked the three Bangladeshi exporters to provide necessary information and explanation in this regard by 30 days from the date of receipt of the letter.

The High Commission has thus requested the relevant ministry in Bangladesh to immediately take required steps in this regard.

To this effect, the commerce ministry sat with stakeholders concerned. The stakeholders presented their arguments in this regard, a high official of the commerce ministry said.

"We have noted necessary information and arguments from the exporters concerned," he added.

Any Indian imposition of ADD on clear float glass will deal a serious blow to Bangladesh's overall export to India. Float glass has huge potential in the Indian market, he said.

Currently, India imposes anti-dumping duty on Bangladeshi jute goods, hydrogen peroxide and fishing net. Glass shipments to India have been rising in recent years.

Bangladesh exported glass sheets worth over $0.7 million to India in the fiscal year (FY) 2019-20.The volume of exports of such products has increased remarkably in FY 2020-21.

Its exports to the market grew by 357 per cent to US$3.39 million in 11 months of the last fiscal year than that of the previous fiscal year.

CFG is generally used in window, refrigeration, construction, automobiles, mirror and solar energy industries.

An anti-dumping duty is a protectionist tariff that a domestic government imposes on foreign imports that it believes are priced below fair market value, according to investopedia.com.

The duty is aimed at ensuring fair trading practices and creating a level-playing field between the domestic producers and foreign exporters/producers.

Earlier, India slapped anti-dumping duty on Bangladesh's jute yarn, hessian and bags back in January 2017 ranging from $19 and $352 a tonne.

A similar duty was imposed on the exports of hydrogen peroxide to India in the range between $27.81 and $91.47 per tonne in April 2017.

One year later, India put anti-dumping duty at $2.69 per kilogram on the shipment of fishing net from Bangladesh.

According to a senior commerce ministry official, this will be a clear violation of the SAFTA rules if India initiates investigation into the allegation of dumping without consulting Bangladesh.

As per existing SAFTA rules, he said, before considering anti-dumping measures against least developed contracting states, they have to be given the scope for consultation in this regard.

"The contracting states shall give special regard to the situation of the least developed contracting states when considering the application of anti-dumping and/or countervailing measures," according to Article 11(A) of the rules.

"In this regard, the contracting states shall provide an opportunity to least developed contracting states for consultations. The contracting states shall, to the extent practical, favourably consider accepting price undertakings offered by exporters from least developed contracting states."

In March, five memoranda of understanding were signed between Bangladesh and India in Dhaka to enhance cooperation, an official told the FE.

One of them was inked on the establishment of a framework of cooperation in the area of trade remedial measures between the two countries.

It has been mentioned not to make any move about measures/investigation on ADD without consultation with the respective country, the official added.

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