By Sohrab Darabshaw
The Indian government has initiated an inquiry into an allegation of dumping of aluminum and zinc-coated flat steel products from China, the Republic of Korea and Vietnam.
The probe will cover the October 2017-September 2018 period, but data from 2015 will also be looked at by India's Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), which falls under the Commerce Ministry.
A report by the Press Trust of India said the investigation had been launched following a complaint by domestic producer JSW Steel Coated Products.
India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, has one of the highest trade tariffs in the world; for decades, its highly protectionist trade policy received flak. Some experts have argued there was a risk that this protectionism could backfire somewhere down the line.
In the latest anti-dumping probe, it must be remembered that aluminum and zinc-coated steel are used largely in solar power projects, roofing and appliances (to name a few). India is currently very bullish on solar power projects; naturally, local producers are worried these projects have started using cheaper products from foreign shores.
If the allegation is eventually found to be true, the DGTR will then recommend imposition of the anti-dumping duty on the imports. The investigation has been initiated because there was some prima facie evidence found of dumping by the three countries.
The probe into the alleged dumping will help determine the existence, degree and effect of alleged dumping, and to recommend the amount of anti-dumping duty - which, if levied, would be adequate to remove the injury to the domestic industry, according to the DGTR.
Dumping of commodities negatively impacts the price of the same products in domestic markets.
Editor's Note: The summary bullets for this article were chosen by Seeking Alpha editors.