Taiwan's challenge to Canada's anti-dumping duties wins support

Taipei, March 19 (CNA) Several member countries of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have voiced support for Taiwan’s challenge against a move made by Canada to impose anti-dumping tariffs on Taiwanese carbon steel welded pipes, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

In the first meeting held by a review panel organized by the WTO under the trade organization’s dispute resolution mechanism, the United States, the European Union, Norway, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates showed their support to Taiwan’s claims that the anti-dumping duties slapped by Canada were unfair, the MOEA.

The meeting kicked off in Geneva on March 16 and lasted through March 17. Representatives from the U.S., EU, Norway, Brazil, the UAE, China and South Korea attended the gathering and gave their opinions regarding the trade dispute between Taiwan and Canada.

In December 2012, Canada imposed anti-dumping tariffs against seven Taiwanese carbon steel welded pipe exporters, accusing them of selling that particular type of steel products at unfairly low prices in the Canadian market.

In June 2014, Taiwan made a formal request for consultations with Canada on the issue. In July and December 2014, Taiwan and Canada held two rounds of consultations, but the meetings failed to yield any satisfactory results. In the consultations, Taiwan questioned Canada’s investigation process and its legal basis for imposing the anti-dumping duties, the MOEA said.

Then in January 2015, Taiwan took a follow-up measure by requesting the WTO form a panel to review the case, and the request has been accepted by the global trade body, which agreed to set up a review panel in March that year.

According to the MOEA, Canada has violated the WTO rules in its anti-dumping investigations by using prices for the products in Taiwan’s market as a whole, instead of just the prices normally charged by the individual Taiwanese exporters, to determine that the Taiwanse companies exceeded the “de minimis”, or lowest, price it can charge — that of no more than 2 percent lower than the price it normally charges.

The MOEA said that Canada ignored the de minimis rate from individual exporters, but used Taiwan as a whole to accuse Taiwanese firms of dumping carbon steel welded pipes in its market.

This flaw should lead to a termination of its investigation, the ministry said.

In addition, Taiwan has alleged that the Canadian authorities used inappropriate trading statistics to conclude that Taiwanese carbon steel welded pipe exporters engaged in dumping practices, the MOEA said.

In the first meeting held by the review panel, the U.S., EU, Norway, Brazil and the UAE said that Canada should have terminated the investigation into the alleged Taiwanese exporters’ practices.

Due to the unfair anti-dumping tariffs imposed by Canada, Taiwanese carbon steel welded pipes suffered almost US$20 million in losses a year, the MOEA said. The ministry said that the Canadian government should correct its mistake of imposing such unfair anti-dumping duties on the Taiwanese exports.

The MOEA said that the WTO panel is scheduled to hold a second meeting at the end of June before making a ruling on the case. It said that a final decision is likely to be made in summer 2017.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)

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