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China extends Anti-Dumping Duties on Indian chemical, a ‘legitimate response’

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BEIJING : China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) said that it will retain Anti-Dumping Duties on imports of o-chloro-p-nitroaniline originating in India, a move that experts said is a legitimate response to concerns raised by domestic producers.

According to a MOFCOM announcement, the duties will be extended for another five years, starting from February 13. China first imposed the duties for five years as of February 12, 2018 at rates of 31.4-49.9 percent.

Qian Wenjie, a partner of Gaopeng & Partners, told that usually, anti-dumping measures are left to expire after five years. If it is determined after an end-of-period review that the cessation of duties is likely to lead to the continuation or re-occurrence of dumping and injury, the measures will be extended.

If domestic enterprises don’t seek an extension, and the investigating authority doesn’t initiate a review, then the measures are automatically terminated.

Ahead of the ending of the first five-year period, the MOFCOM received an application from the industry on December 12, 2022. It decided to conduct an end-of-period review starting on February 13, 2023, and sent and notified the announcement of the review filing and the status of the filing to the Indian Embassy in China and the major Indian exporters.

In a year-long investigation, the MOFCOM found that India has strong production capacity in this yellow crystalline powder, which is mainly used in dyes, and that there is serious overcapacity, with two-thirds of it relying on exports to overseas markets.

Between 2018 and September 2022, India still exported the product to China by dumping, accounting for all of China’s imports of o-chloro-p-nitroaniline, which had left Chinese enterprises in a state of unstable production and operation, and susceptible to the impact and influence of dumped imported products.

Experts noted that China’s move is not a countermeasure against India, but a review investigation in accordance with the law, in a bid to meet the claims of domestic producers.

“The Chinese investigation took nearly a year, which is close to the maximum period of time stipulated in the anti-dumping regulations, except for special circumstances,” Qian said.

This reflected the complexity of the case and also showed that the Chinese authorities have fully considered the interests of all parties before finally reaching a conclusion.

India is the country with the most anti-dumping investigations against China. According to the MOFCOM website, from 1995 to 2023, India initiated 336 anti-dumping investigations against China. In late September last year, within 10 days, India launched 13 anti-dumping investigations against China.

However, from 1995 to 2023, China launched only 12 anti-dumping investigations against India, mainly in the chemical field.

Qian noted that China and India are both large developing countries and emerging economies, with strong economic complementarities and great potential for cooperation.

“When conducting anti-dumping investigations of Chinese products, India regards China as a non-market economy, and artificially inflates the normal value and dumping margins in the calculation, which is a discriminatory practice,” Qian said.

After considering the public interest, India’s recent anti-dumping investigations against China have been increasingly settled with low or even no duty. Qian said it showed that India cannot abandon Chinese products.

Data from China’s customs showed that China-India trade volume expanded to $136.2 billion in 2023. India imported $117.68 billion of goods from China, up 0.8 percent year-on-year.

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