DGTR to Revisit Anti-Dumping Rules

Prelims level : Economy Mains level : Indian Economy and issues relating to planning, mobilization, of resources, growth, development and employment.
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In News:

  • Amid mounting complaints from the domestic steel industry after Chinese steel product imports surged 8 per cent in the 12 months to March 2018, despite nearly 80 per cent of these products being covered under anti-dumping duty, the Department of Commerce is attempting a course correction.


  • The concerns raised by the domestic steel lobby focus largely on the Chinese non-alloy steel being imported in the country that is presumably being misdeclared as alloy steel, which otherwise is value-added and expensive steel.
  • The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) in the Department — entrusted with using trade remedial methods under relevant framework of WTO arrangements — is scrambling to commission a study for an impact assessment of India’s anti-dumping measures and is learnt to have approached the Delhi-based Indian Institute of Foreign Trade for this study.
  • The fresh study commissioned by the DGTR in the steel sector comes at a time when despite an across-the-board tariff hiking spree by the NDA government — covering over 400 items ranging from apples and almonds to cell phone parts and solar panels during the last 24 months — there is sobering realisation that pointed interventions such as anti-dumping duties in sectors such as steel and solar panels have largely failed in achieving results.
  • The complaints by the steel industry, which have been included as a submission before the parliamentary standing committee on commerce, cite the non-review of the anti-dumping duty in the backdrop of the fact that the raw material prices have gone up multiple times over the last 24 months.
  • Even as the cost of domestic steel production, based on which the anti-dumping duty reference price mechanisms have been formulated, are now completely different, nothing has been done to revise or rationalise the anti-dumping duty imposed for some time now, the industry has petitioned.
  • At the time of notification of existing anti-dumping duties in the steel sector, the DGAD had then considered the international prices vis-à-vis the prevailing domestic prices at that time and the reference price had been arrived at accordingly. Over time, steel prices have appreciated globally.
  • Incidentally, the DGTR has initiated 888 investigations against imports from various countries so far, mainly pertaining to China, the EU, Republic of Korea, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the US, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia.
  • The DGTR, after completing the investigation, came to the conclusion that increased imports of solar cells, whether or not assembled in modules or panels into India, have caused “serious injury” and also “threaten to cause serious injury” to the domestic producers in India.
  • The DGTR recommended imposition of safeguard duty on imports of solar cells for two years vide final findings dated July 16, 2018. Imports from developing nations other than China and Malaysia were exempted from the Safeguard Duty up to certain limits.
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