Thu, Jan 22, 2015 - Page 14 News List

Taiwan suing Canada over tariffs

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

The Bureau of Foreign Trade yesterday filed a lawsuit against Canada for levying antidumping taxes on Taiwan’s welded carbon and alloy-steel tubes via the WTO’s dispute settlement mechanism, a bureau official said.

Bureau Director-General Yang Jen-ni (楊珍妮) said the Canadian government in 2012 started investigations and later levied antidumping taxes on welded carbon and alloy-steel tubes imported from seven countries, including Taiwan.

“The highest tariff rates Canada imposed on Taiwanese products is 54.2 percent, which heavily impacted Taiwanese manufacturers’ exports,” Yang said.

She said that it is against the WTO’s agreement for Canada to impose antidumping tariffs on Taiwan’s welded carbon and alloy-steel tubes.

Yang said that many countries have adopted various countermeasures against low-cost imports to protect their own products in recent years.

Many countries have levied antidumping taxes on Taiwanese products, harming the nation’s trade interests, with Canada’s antidumping tax measures affecting Taiwan’s export output by nearly US$30 million, Yang said.

Yang said the Ministry of Economic Affairs filed an official request for a bilateral negotiation with Canada over the issue through the WTO in June 2013, but as Ottawa declined to compromise, the ministry decided to sue.

The export output of Taiwanese welded carbon and alloy-steel tubes to Canada was US$19 million in 2011 and the figure dropped to US$11 million the next year, then dropped in 2013 to just US$5 million, the bureau’s data showed.

The bureau said Canada also initiated antidumping investigations on Taiwanese oil tubes, screws and screw nuts.

Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) said this is the fourth time that Taiwan has filed a lawsuit via the WTO, but the first time it has sued a specific country to protect its trade interests.

“Although an international lawsuit via the WTO will take a lot of time and effort, we must send a message to other countries and let them know that they cannot bully us,” Deng said.

The bureau said it expects the WTO to hold the first court session in the lawsuit in April, adding that the court might reach a preliminary conclusion at the end of this year or next year.

Yang said Indonesia has also adopted countermeasures against Taiwan’s welded carbon and alloy-steel tubes, while Turkey recently started an antidumping investigation on Taiwan’s smartphones and wallpapers.

She said the government would propose a bilateral negotiation with Indonesia in the first half of this year.

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