India has initiated an anti-subsidy investigation for imposition of countervailing duty (CVD) on imports of jute products, including jute sacking bags, jute sacking cloth and jute yarn, from Bangladesh. Director General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) of India has already invited Bangladesh for consultation, a condition prior to starting such an investigation. A country can impose countervailing duty on import of subsidized products from any other country to offset injury caused to local products due to the import of subsidized imports. The consultation is supposed to be held through video conferencing by May 15. Bangladesh commerce ministry has already requested India to defer the consultation until June 15 considering the prevailing situation of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to trade officials, this move would come as a huge threat to export of jute products to India, which is a large market for jute products, where Bangladesh’s export of the products has been dwindling since 2017 following imposition of anti-dumping duty by the country.
India in April, 2017 imposed anti-dumping duty ranging from $19 to $351.72 a tonne on import of jute products including jute yarn, twine, hessian fabric and jute sacking bags from Bangladesh for five years. Bangladesh annually exports jute and jute products worth around $200 million to India. Trade officials and industry insiders said that India has been creating barriers one after another to import of the products to hamper Bangladesh’s export. Imposition of this duty will severely impact export of the products.