Saudis file WTO complaint over EU anti-dumping measures

Saudis file WTO complaint over EU anti-dumping measures
2 min read
Saudi Arabia has accused the European Union of imposing unfair anti-dumping duties on the chemical compound mono-ethylene glycol and has filed a complaint to the WTO.
If consultations between Saudi Arabia and the EU fail to resolve the dispute, the WTO can create a panel of experts to review the case [source: Getty]

Saudi Arabia has filed a World Trade Organization complaint over EU anti-dumping duties on imports of a chemical compound used to make synthetic fibres and plastic bottles, according to a document published Thursday.

In the complaint, dated August 17 but circulated to WTO members Thursday, Saudi Arabia charges that the European Union unfairly imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on imports of mono-ethylene glycol.

The chemical compound is used in a variety of industrial processes, including to produce polyester fibres and components for manufacturing plastic bottles.

It is also used in the production of engine coolant for the automotive industry, as antifreeze, solvents and a dehydration agent in natural gas pipelines, among other things.

Following an investigation last year, Brussels maintained there was evidence that imports of the compound from Saudi Arabia, and also from the United States, were priced unfairly low and harming producers within the bloc.

It imposed anti-dumping duties on June 12 for a period of six months, according to the Saudi complaint.

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The complaint charges that the EU used faulty methodology to determine the Saudi import pricing was too low, and insists the duties were a violation of international trade rules.

Dumping means that an exporting country sells a product or service into the importing country at prices below what it charges at home.

The use of anti-dumping duties are permitted under international trade rules as long as they adhere to strict conditions, and disputes over their use are often brought before the WTO's Dispute Settlement Body.

Saudi Arabia has requested consultations to help resolve the dispute with the EU.

The request for consultations marks the first step in the WTO dispute system, and is aimed at giving the parties a chance to talk things through and resolve their differences without moving forward with litigation.

If the consultations fail to resolve the dispute, the WTO can create a panel of experts to review the case.