India remains one of the most frequent users of trade defence instruments, such as anti-dumping duties and safeguard measures, against the EU, after the US and China, according to the European Commission’s annual report on the EU’s trade defence activities of 2021.

The total number of Indian trade defence measures against the EU in 2021, however, decreased to 12, as compared to 15 in 2020, the report noted.

“The US has the highest number of measures against EU exports, with 37 measures in force, followed by China with 19, Turkey with 17, Brazil, Canada and India with 12, followed by Indonesia with 11,” the report said.

Anti-dumping duties are imposed when it is conclusively proved that certain imports are being dumped by a trading partner at prices lower than at which it is sold in the domestic market of the exporter and in the process causing injury to domestic industry of the importing country. Safeguard duties are imposed when a surge in imports disrupts local markets.

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Steel products account for the highest number of trade defence measures against the EU, 62, followed by chemical products with 48 measures, agricultural products with 22 measures, textiles with 12 measures and paper with 10 measures.

“With regard to actions taken, India did not impose any duties in 2021 and has extended a temporary suspension of definitive anti-dumping duties imposed in 2019 (high-speed steel from Germany) for 12 months,” the report pointed out.

India has not initiated any safeguard investigation last year, but has launched two new anti-dumping investigations in 2021 (4 in 2020) against the EU, it observed. The two new cases concern imports of melamine and rubber chemicals.

The report highlighted the importance of termination of anti-dumping investigation by India on imports of flat rolled products of stainless steel in March 2021 without imposing measures.

“This was an important outcome given the economic interest at stake of around €98mn,” it said. 

China tops the list of trade partners against which the EU has used trade defence instruments with as many as 96 anti-dumping measures and nine anti-subsidy measures imposed against the country.

In contrast, there were four anti-dumping measures and four anti-subsidy measures in force against India at the end of 2021.