Legal platform to counter cheap imports

Economy


New Delhi: India is putting in place a legal platform to help small and medium enterprises, threatened by cheap imports in their fight against trade distorting practices. The commerce department is looking to constitute a panel of lawyers to provide legal guidance to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the area of trade remedies such as anti dumping duty, countervailing duty and safeguard measures. “This assistance may include advice on information, documents necessary to file a trade remedy petition and process details,” said an official in the know of the developments about the proposed panel.

A dedicated panel of lawyers is seen as crucial in view of various forms of support as also trade protectionist measures being adopted by many countries for local manufacturers, the official said.

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Remedial trade measures available to address trade distortions to the domestic industry include anti-dumping duty, countervailing duty and measures including safeguard duties and quantitative restrictions. India’s trade deficit was $106.84 billion in the April-November period in the financial year. Typically, MSMEs find engaging lawyers to fight such cases a costly and complex affair.

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“The main problem is that MSMEs take time to realise that dumping or import surge has happened and they are not prepared. This is a good move as trade remedial actions are costly, especially for small players who are not organised,” said Ajay Sahai, director general, Federation of Indian Export Organisations. The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) has already taken various measures to protect domestic industry from unfair trade practices.



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