Bangladesh government will seek remedy from safeguard duty imposed by Indonesia on global import of apparel and clothing products as Bangladesh’s export does not harm Indonesian local industry, Bangladesh trade officials said.
At a bilateral consultation meeting to be held today on the imposition of safeguard measures on the products, Bangladesh will either seek waiver from payment of the duty or remedial coverage for export losses due to the imposition of the duty, they said.
Indonesia on February 23 imposed safeguard duty ranges from Tk 37 to Tk 956 a piece of 134 types of clothing items irrespective of exporting countries for three years saying that an increased import of the products has caused serious injury to its domestic industry.
The duty has been imposed on top garments (casual), top garments (formal), bottom garments, suits, ensembles and dresses, outwear, babies’ garments and clothing accessories, headwear and neckwear.
Officials said that Bangladesh delegation led by Md Hafizur Rahman, director general of the World Trade Organisation Cell under the commerce ministry, would place arguments against imposition of the duty on Bangladeshi products.
Representatives from foreign ministry, textiles and jute ministry, Bangladesh Trade and Tariff Commission, Bangladesh embassy in Jakarta, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association will also attend the consultation to be held virtually, they said.
They said that Bangladesh side would raise a number of issues which the Indonesian Safeguard Committee (KPPI) did not address while imposing the duty.
The BTTC and the BGMEA also submitted the detailed explanations to the KPPI during the investigation period as to why situation did not arise to take safeguard measures.
Most of the observations made by Bangladesh are not reflected in the notification that imposed the duty.
Hafizur said that the reason for the surge in import of apparel products in Indonesia was a rise in import from China following duty benefits to the country.
Bangladesh is not a major exporter to the country, he said.
The notification has also inconsistencies and miscalculation and it also did not address the Bangladesh’s concerns, he said.
‘We will present our stance again and will request the country not to impose the duty on Bangladesh’s export as we don’t have any faults or adopt any unfair practice,’ he said.
‘If Indonesia cannot waive the duty which was imposed on products irrespective of exporting countries, we will seek remedy as per the WTO provisions,’ he added.
As per the WTO provisions, safeguard duty imposing country are bound to provide remedy in various forms to a country which are not responsible for an increase in import, trade officials said.
The remedy can be provided through a reduction in duty for other products or giving duty draw back to exporters, they said.
Bangladesh’s growth in export to the country has been in normal trend, which means that Bangladeshi export is not responsible for the injury, they added.
They also said that there was mismatch between sales, profits, production and import data the country mentioned in the notification and other sources.
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