ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is to appoint the Director General of Commerce as Competent Authority for actions under an anti-dumping and safeguard law to prevent consumers from accessing cheaper imported goods.
Sri Lanka last Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration passed an anti-dumping law despite the country having high import duties, giving more ammunition for domestic producers to exploit customers with high prices.
The current administration has printed large volumes of money, and has placed a range of import under import controls.
Anti-dumping laws, were devised in the West by domestic production lobbies who were faced competition from a wave to trade liberalization that lifted millions out of poverty in Asia and raised living standards in Europe and the US increasing their disposable incomes, critics say.
Western drug makers sell pharmaceuticals to developing countries at a fraction of the home market price, but there are no complaints that drugs are ‘dumped’. In fact in Sri Lanka they are subject to further price controls.
Sri Lankan exporters including tyre producers have been victims of anti-dumping dumping legislation in the US, which typically operate through opaque process.
The 2015 – 2019 administration also printed money and controlled the imports of cars and also blocked gold imports after printing money and putting pressure on the rupee, though they came with a promise to liberalize trade.
Trade Minister Bandula Gunewardene’s proposal to appoint DG Commerce as competent authority for Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Duties Act Nov 02 of 2018, and Safeguard Measures Act No 03, of 2018 was approved by the cabinet of ministers. (Colombo/Dec28/2020)