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New Delhi assures Tokyo that all factors will be considered before taking a decision

Japan has raised concerns over an on-going anti-dumping investigation by India on import of certain steel products from the country and has asked Indian authorities to evaluate all “relevant economic factors’’ before taking a decision.

The matter was taken up by Japan at the meeting of the World Trade Organisation’s Committee on Anti-Dumping on Wednesday.

“Japan raised concerns with an Indian investigation on coated and plated tin mill flat rolled steel products initiated last June, and asked that Indian authorities be sure to evaluate all relevant economic factors having a bearing on the state of the domestic industry,” a Geneva-based trade official told BusinessLine.

India should also keep in mind the competitive relationship between Japanese exporters and Indian producers of the like product and the discomfort that is likely to cause to the domestic industry in the normal course of events, Japan indicated in the meeting.

“At the meeting of the Committee on Anti-Dumping, India said the anti-dumping investigation on the specified steel import from Japan was ongoing, and that it will look at all relevant factors. It assured Japan that its concerns would be addressed,” the official said.

New Delhi has been trying to put in place restrictions such as safeguard duties and anti-dumping duties on steel imports, as its domestic market is flooded with imported steel products. The free trade agreements with Japan and South Korea have resulted in very low tariffs (zero or near-zero) on high-grade steel products, pushing up imports of such items. Moreover, increased protectionism across the world, has resulted in a drop in India’s exports of steel products.

India turned a net importer of steel in 2018-19, the first time in three years, with shipments rising from countries such as China, South Korea and Japan. Its finished steel imports increased 4.7 per cent to 7.84 million tonnes while steel exports fell 34 per cent to 6.36 million tonnes.

“Although India has been taking protectionist measures to check import of cheap steel, it has been in line with WTO stipulations and proper procedures have been followed so far,” a government official said.

The WTO allows a member-country to impose anti-dumping and safeguard duties on imports if it can be proved that the items are either being dumped in the domestic market at prices lower than what it is available at in the country of the seller or there has been a surge in imports of a particular commodity in a particular period of time. In both cases, the complainant also has to proved that imports have caused injury to the domestic producer and caused disruption in the market.

Credits: thehindubusinessline.com

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