‘Anti-dumping, safeguarding acts vital to protect domestic industry’ | Daily News

‘Anti-dumping, safeguarding acts vital to protect domestic industry’

Malik Samarawickrama
Malik Samarawickrama

Two much awaited bills relating to international trade - Anti-Dumping & Countervailing Act and the Safeguard Measures Act were passed in Parliament.

This will provide domestic industries with a robust framework to guard against unfair trade practices and unforeseen surges of imports. Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama said that the enactment of these two laws was long overdue in Sri Lanka as many countries both developed and developing including India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh had already enacted required domestic legislation.

“While we grow our trade with the rest of the world and forge ahead with trade liberalisation, we have not forgotten the need to look after the interests of our own industries here at home.”

“The acts passed by Parliament are vital to protect domestic industry from unfair trade practices. However these new laws are not aimed at providing blanket protectionism to the domestic industry, but rather a credible set of remedial measures in the event of injury to the domestic industry caused by dumping, or by subsidisation, or by sudden surges of imports. The primary purpose is to re-establish fair competition and to provide the domestic industry a level playing field, not promote protectionism”. The local industry has been making representations that imports are being made at lower prices than the normal value into the country.

“Furthermore, Sri Lanka is in the process of rationalization of its tariff regime and will also phase out Custom duties on imports under the Free Trade Agreements. With these developments there can be tendency to resort to dumping or subsidization of their goods into Sri Lanka, thereby creating a unfair competition and injury to domestic industry.”

The anti-dumping or countervailing measures or safeguard measures do not aim at providing protection to the domestic industry per se. These are only remedial measures for removal of injury to the domestic industry caused by the dumping or subsidisation or surges of imports of goods.

The bill passed define specific criteria to determine when product is to be consider dumped and provide provision to levy compensate duties on import of products that are benefiting from dumping or subsidization.

Following an investigation based on submission made by domestic industry to the Department of Commerce, it will make a preliminary determination and thereafter final determination on whether to impose anti dumping duty, if it is established that imports have caused injury to domestic industry. “The procedures will also allow both interested parties as well as affected parties to present their submission and their case before the authority.”

In addition to anti – dumping, the section on countervailing and subsidies will provide provision to take remedial measures against other unfair trade practices, because apart from dumping, countries also resort to the subsidization of their exports to Sri Lanka.

Subsidies that are granted by other countries to their exporters which are categorized as actionable subsidies will be addressed by way of levying anti – subsidy countervailing duty equivalent to subsidy granted, after investigation and determination.

This Ministry wishes to state that continuation of a distorted Import tariff regime will not make domestic industry internationally competitive.

This Ministry, as a part of economic development strategy and new National Trade Policy, will be entering into Free Trade Agreements at bilateral level particularly with growing large economies such as India and China which are progressing well.


 

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