BD-India agreed to set up expert group for trade remedy
Zahid Hossain Biplob: Dispute issues on anti-dumping duty between two neighbouring countries Bangladesh and India is likely to resolve under the initiative of the authorities concerned of the both countries. Bangladesh is facing severe crisis for anti-dumping duty on some exportable goods to enter the Indian market.
Ministry sources said, the issue will discuss during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s October India visit.
However, Bangladesh and India have agreed to establish an expert group on trade remedy measures to hold consultations on disputes related to anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard measures before taking legal steps by any of the countries.
In this regard, a memorandum of understanding on establishment of a framework of cooperation in the areas of trade remedial measures, under which the expert group will be formed, will be signed in this connection.
Bangladesh commerce ministry on July 11 forwarded a note verbal with its views on a draft MoU prepared by India on the issue and is now waiting for response from its Indian counterpart, commerce ministry additional secretary Sharifa Khan said the reporters.
The ministry will also send the draft MoU to the Prime Minister’s Office for considering signing the MoU during the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s upcoming visit to India, she said.
She said that establishing the expert group committee would create a platform for discussing trade remedy measures, known as anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty or anti-subsidy and safeguard measures, and solving many of those without legal steps.
The issues of imposition of such duty will come first at the expert group and both the sides will hold meetings to solve the issues before going direct legal action or imposition of the duty, she added.
Bangladesh so far faced the highest number of anti-dumping and related duties from India, said officials of the Bangladesh Tariff Commission, which is the designated authority to deal with such duties.
India first in 2002 imposed anti-dumping duty on the lead acid battery export from Bangladesh. Later in 2005, the country withdrew the duty after Bangladesh filed case with the dispute settlement body of the World Trade Organisation.
In last few years, India imposed the duty on Bangladesh’s export of jute and jute goods, hydrogen peroxide and fishing net. The country also imposed duty for alleged circumvention of anti-dumping duty on export of jute sacking cloth from Bangladesh.
Besides, Pakistan imposed anti-dumping duty on import of hydrogen peroxide from Bangladesh and Turkey imposed the duty on import of synthetic yarn from Bangladesh.
Officials said that India included anti-dumping and countervailing duty as the areas of cooperation under the MoU but Bangladesh suggested inclusion of safeguard measures in the draft.
The commission officials have been struggling to deal with the issues due to lack of trainings and cooperation from stakeholders including other countries and local traders.
India has expertise on the issues as the country has on regular basis been imposing such duty on export of various goods by other countries and facing such duties imposed by other countries on exports from India.
According to the draft of MoU, the proposed expert group will undertake a number of activities including exchange of information, guidelines and laws and regulations, exchange of experts and organising trainings and seminars on trade remedial measures to enhance cooperation in the areas of trade remedial measures and in the areas of common interest.
The group will act in accordance with various provisions of the World Trade Organisation and relevant domestic laws in the areas of anti-dumping, countervailing duty and safeguard measures.
Both the parties will notify and invite each other well in advance as reasonably feasible before initiating investigations into the issues to clarify matters with the objective of arriving at a mutually agreed solution.
Under the MoU, cooperation between the two parties will be carried out without any infringement of the rights and obligations of the countries under the international agreements on trade remedies and domestic laws and regulations.
Experts said, the anti-dumping issue should be resolved immediately between the two neibouring countries to attain win-win situation.