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Monday, Feb 18, 2002

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Agri-Biz & Commodities - Cotton

Bed linen exports -- Textile body shocked at EU anti-dumping review

G. Gurumurthy


THE Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council (Texprocil) has said the European Commission's decision to initiate an interim review of the anti-dumping measure on imports of cotton bed-linen from India has made a mockery of the decision taken by the WTO's appellate body. The appellate body in March last year had comprehensively rejected the EC's methodology for computing dumping margins and establishing `injury' factor.

Texprocil, which stated that it would make all efforts to contest the EC's interim review proceedings against India's bed-linen exports, also asked the Government to initiate steps under the WTO rules including recourse to article 21 and 22 of the rules governing the settlement of disputes to ensure the WTO appellate body's ruling was implemented.

The council's Chairman, Mr T. Kannan, who expressed shock at the EC's move to initiate the interim review of anti-dumping on India's bed-linen on the last day of its expiry, in a statement said the WTO appellate body had ruled that no proper injury to European producers had been established as all economic indicators required under the WTO Anti-dumping Agreement to prove injury were not even collected by the EC.

Considering the magnitude of the decision given by the appellate body, not only the revocation of the duties but refund of the collected duties by the EU would have been the most appropriate way of compliance with the appellate body's ruling.

But instead of doing that, the EC had only encouraged the filing of a review by the same complainant on a product that came under quota and in which India's market share had decreased by six per cent since anti-dumping was introduced in 1997.

Mr Kannan pointed out that EC's action was discriminatory against India, as it had decided to terminate a similar proceeding on Pakistan on the basis of the same appellate body's decision.

In the meantime, Texprocil, which circulated the EC's initiation of partial interim review of the anti-dumping measure to all leading bed-linen exporters, called upon the exporters to submit to the EC the relevant details of bed-linen exported by them to EU during the period January-December 2001, the period covered for investigation. It stated that the anti-dumping duties would remain suspended during the period of interim review.

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