Dumping Talks: Delhi Wants Anti-Protectionist Clause

New Delhi, October 24: | Updated: Oct 25 2002, 05:30am hrs
New Delhi has submitted a second paper on the agreement on anti-dumping to the negotiating group on rules at the World Trade Organisation seeking clarification and improvement in certain disciplines to ensure that the agreement is not misused for protectionist purposes.

The proposals include disallowing back-to-back anti-dumping probes within 365 days of a negative finding in a prior investigation on the same product or a broader category of product, placing the options for determining injury in a hierarchical order, giving effect to the lesser duty rule for calculating injury margins by putting in place disciplines for its calculation and elaborating injury factors.

Negotiations on anti-dumping rules are currently being undertaken in the negotiating group rules under the specific negotiating mandate provided in the Doha ministerial.

While three of the four scheduled meetings for 2002 have already taken place on May 6-8, July 8-10 and October 16-18, the fourth is scheduled for November 25-27.

According to officials, New Delhi submitted its second paper on anti-dumping to negotiating group rules last week while the first paper was circulated in April 02. The recent paper has proposed that an article be inserted in the anti-dumping agreement specifying that an investigating authority should not initiate an investigation where a probe on the same product or a broader category of another product which included the product under consideration resulted in negative finding within a year prior to the filing of the petition seeking initiation of a new probe.

The agreement sets forth three separate basis for deriving the normal value of goods for calculating dumping. New Delhis paper says many investigating authorities are constructing the normal value on the basis of the particular option which results in the highest dumping margins. The picking and choosing of options is a cause for concern as it does not permit an objective assessment thus leading to arbitrariness and unfairness in the implementation of agreement.

The paper also wants an amendment specifying the three options should have a hierarchical significance and a subsequent option may be resorted to only in the absence of relevant data under the preceding options.

New Delhi again points out that while the injury parameters have to be mandatorily evaluated to arrive at an objective assessment of the impact of dumped imports on the state of the domestic industry as a whole, there is no mandatory obligation on investigating authorities for determining the injury margin. However, article 9.1 of the agreement, which provides that the anti-dumping duty be less than the margin of dumping if such lesser duty will be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry, can be taken as the required determination of an injury margin.