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Govt starts countervailing investigations on Chinese herbicide

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Press Trust of India New Delhi
India has initiated a countervailing duty probe into increased imports of Chinese herbicide - Atrazine Technical, a move aimed at guarding domestic players from imports that are subsidised by the neighbouring nation.
The investigation has been initiated by the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), under the commerce ministry, on a complaint by domestic manufacturers.
Meghmani Industries has filed an application on behalf of the domestic industry alleging subsidisation of Atrazine Technical from China and requested to initiate an anti-subsidy investigation for levy of countervailing duties on the imports.
The applicant alleged that the producers/exporters of the product has been benefited from the actionable subsidies provided at various levels by the Chinese government, including the governments of the different provinces and municipalities, the DGTR has said in a notification.
It said that the evidence provided by the applicant prima facie shows that the injury to the domestic industry has been caused by subsidised imports from China.
Imports from China have "increased significantly" both in absolute terms, and in relation to production and consumption in India, the DGTR added.
Imports are undercutting the prices of the domestic industry and there is price depression, it said, adding the production and sales of the domestic industry have increased, but the market share of the domestic industry has declined.
"The authority hereby initiates an investigation into the alleged subsidisation and consequent injury to the domestic industry...to determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged subsidisation and to recommend the amount of countervailing duty which, if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry," the DGTR said.
Atrazine Technical is a commonly used herbicide to control pre and post-emergence of broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds. It is used mostly on farms on crops such as sugarcane, corn, pineapples, and sorghum to prevent weeds.
The period of investigation is 2017-18 (12 months). It would also cover the data of 2014-17.
Countervailing duty is a country specific duty, which is imposed to safeguard domestic industry against unfair trade subsidies provided by the local governments of the exporting nations.
India has already imposed countervailing duty as well as anti dumping duties on various kinds of steel from China to protect domestic players, which are facing problems.
It is India's one of the biggest trading partner, however, the trade balance is tilted in China's favour.
India has a trade deficit of USD 63.12 billion in 2017-18 with China as compared to USD 51.11 billion in the previous year.

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First Published: Aug 29 2018 | 3:50 PM IST

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