PSF Cos Rethink On Dragging EU To WTO Over Dumping Duty

New Delhi, November 28: | Updated: Nov 29 2002, 05:30am hrs
Polyester staple fibre (PSF) manufacturers are reluctant to go ahead with their earlier proposal to approach the World Trade Organisations dispute settlement body on the issue of definitive anti-dumping duties imposed by the European Union on the fibre. This is because Reliance Industries, one of the largest PSF producers, has already negotiated a price undertaking agreement with the EU in lieu of the duty, and the duty on another company, Indian Organic Chemical has been reduced. The Silk and Rayon Textile Export Promotion Council, which is coordinating defence of the case, has therefore suggested that the issue may not be pursued further.

The definitive anti-dumping duty imposed by the EU from March 3, 2001 varies from company to company. It is 32.6 per cent on JCT Mills, 14.7 per cent (after reduction) on Indian Organic Chemical and 35.4 per cent on other PSF producers.

Textiles ministry officials have told FE that the price undertaking given by Reliance to the EU implies that the price of PSF exported by it to the EU will be maintained at a particular level. They, however, were quick to point out that this action has made the whole case weak, adding the duty might continue for five years. Officials say anti-dumping proceedings against PSF exports by the above companies were initiated by the European Commission on December 21, 1999 and it had also issued a questionnaire to them. The provisional duties were imposed on July 6, 2000.

To consider the issue, a meeting was convened under the chairmanship of Atul Chaturvedi, joint secretary, textiles ministry, on October 6, 2000. Officials in the commerce ministry, director-general of foreign trade and the silk and rayon exporters council and the companies concerned were present. It was decided that the industry would take a unanimous view and indicate logistic and financial involvement in the case.

Earlier, New Delhi had initiated anti-dumping proceedings against PSF imports from Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Thailand citing injury to its industry.

Following the probe, the anti-dumping authority had recommended provisional dumping duties on these imports from July 10, 2002. The duty was fixed to be the difference between $0.951-$1.264 and the landed value of the product. The final duty is yet to be notified by the government.