Trade Remedy Updates: 7th May-14th May 2020
It's been an exciting week in international trade and trade remedy investigations! To start with the Director General of WTO has announced his resignation from the position, and will step down on 31st August 2020, after completing 7 years at the said designation. In the world of trade remedies, India, USA, and Australia have issued several affirmative findings and initiated a few interesting cases. EU has also initiated an important investigation against imports of certain steel products from Turkey. India has made some interesting developments, such as issuing preliminary findings in its bilateral safeguard measures investigations against Korea in the affirmative and initiating an investigation against a single exporter (and not an entire country), as a first! UK has been handing out extensions for its transition trade remedy investigations. No trade remedy related news coming in from Canada, Korea, Indonesia or Brazil.
Details are as follows:
1) WTO Director General, Roberto Azevêdo cuts his second term short by one year: To step down on 31st August 2020
“The WTO may not be perfect, but it is indispensable all the same. It is what keeps us from a world where the law of the jungle prevails, at least as far as trade is concerned”
Key Takeaway from his statement:
· He will complete 7 years as WTO Director General in August, and will step down from his current position on 31st August 2020
· It is not a health related (he recently had a knee surgery) or politically driven decision, but a one made in personal and family interests
· His decision is also supplemented by the fact that the DG succession process must be decoupled with the preparation of the critical MC12.
· In his time with the WTO, he witnessed the negotiation and completion of the Trade Facilitation Agreement, expansion of the Information Technology Agreement, decisions on food security, and elimination of export subsidies.
· Ambitious goals have been set for MC12 and for WTO Reform, and they must be achieved. WTO cannot remain frozen while the world around it changes.
1) Final Results of the First Five-Year Sunset Review of the Antidumping Duty Order concerning Oil Country Tubular Goods from Ukraine (85 FR 27206, May 7, 2020)
The original anti-dumping duty order was published in the Federal Register on 5th September 2014. In the first sunset review of the anti-dumping duty against the said products from Ukraine, the Department of Commerce found that the discontinuation of the anti-dumping duty would be ‘likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of dumping’.
2) Preliminary Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Stilbenic Optical Brightening Agents from Taiwan ; 2018-2019 (85 FR 27361, May 8, 2020)
The original anti-dumping duty order was published in the Federal Register on 10th May 2012. In the administrative review, The Department of Commerce preliminarily determined that the sole producer/exporter subject to this administrative review, made sales of subject merchandise at less than normal value.
3) Final Results of Antidumping Duty Administrative Review of Certain Cut-to-Length Carbon-Quality Steel Plate Products from Korea RP; 2018-2019 (85 FR 27362, May 8, 2020)
In the administrative review, the Department of Commerce found that subject merchandise has been sold at less than normal value.
The original anti dumping order and countervailing order was published in the Federal Register on 26th April 2018 and 4th January 2018 respectively. In the changed circumstances review, the Department of Commerce found that sufficient changed circumstances do not exist warranting any revisions in the AD or CVD Order.
1) Initiation of an anti-dumping proceeding concerning imports of certain hot-rolled flat products of iron, non-alloy or other alloy steel originating in Turkey (2020/C 166/05, 14th May 2020)
The European Commission has initiated an anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of “flat-rolled products of iron, non-alloy steel or other alloy steel, whether or not in coils (including ‘cut-to-length’ and ‘narrow strip’ products), not further worked than hot-rolled, not clad, plated or coated” from Turkey. There have been allegations made of dumping, material injury and raw material distortions by Eurofer, i.e. the domestic industry.
1) Initiation of Anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of “Natural Mica Pearl Industries Pigments excluding cosmetic grade" originating in or export from China PR. (F. No. 6/8/2020-DGTR, 9th May 2020)
Pursuant to an application filed by M/s. Sudarshan Chemical Industries Limited, an anti-dumping investigation has been initiated by the Authority concerning imports of Natural Mica Pearl Industries Pigments from China PR.
2) Initiation of Anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of “Plain Medium Density Fibre Board having thickness 6mm and above" produced by M/s. Kim Tin MDF Joint Stock Company (F.No. 6/9/2020-DGTR, 11th May 2020)
The original investigation concerning imports of “Plain Medium Density Fibre Board having thickness 6 mm and above” from Indonesia and Vietnam did not include the said exporter since its dumping margin was de-minimis. Now a separate original investigation has been filed against the said exporter for the same product. This is in line with the AB Report in Mexico - Definitive Anti-Dumping measure on Beef and Rice (DS295). India did not follow this approach till off-late, and used to just give the exporters a 'NIL' duty, so that the duty can be subject to review in Mid-Term Review and Sunset Review investigations.
3) Preliminary Findings in Bilateral Safeguard Investigation concerning imports of “Phthalic Anhydride” and “Polybutadiene Rubber” into India from Korea RP under India-Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Bilateral Safeguard Measures) Rules, 2017 (F.No. 22/8/2019, 11th May 2019; F. No. 22/7/2019, 12th May 2019)
In both the bilateral safeguard measures investigations against imports from Korea RP, the preferential duty for the products has been provisionally withdrawn for a period of 200 days. The rate of customs duty on imports of subject goods from Korea RP will be at the MFN level. Notably, no further measure was implemented on a similar investigation concerning certain products from Malaysia, after the expiration of the provisional measures.
4) Initiation of Sunset Review of anti-dumping investigation concerning imports of Phthalic Anhydride originating or exported from Japan and Russia (F. No. 7/11/2020-DGTR, 11th May 2020)
The original duty was imposed on the said goods vide Customs Notification No. 56/2015-Customs (ADD) on 4th December 2015. The duty is set to expire on 3rd December 2015. The Authority initiated a sunset review investigation to review the need for continuation of duties.
5) Termination of Anti-Circumvention investigation concerning alleged circumvention of anti-dumping duty imposed on the imports of “Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)” from China by imports of PTFE from Korea RP (F. No. 07/07/2020-DGTR, 8th May 2020)
Owing to the withdrawal of the application by the domestic industry, the Authority terminated the said investigation.
1) Findings of Continuation Inquiry No. 524 into Anti-Dumping Measures on Silicon Metal from China PR (Anti-Dumping Notice No. 2020/036, 12th May 2020)
The AD Commission has continued the anti-dumping and countervailing duty on the concerned products at a rate of 55.5% ad valorem.