10 January 2012 17:06 [Source: ICIS news]
By John Richardson
PERTH (ICIS)--Trade protectionism in chemicals is set to rise during 2012 as a result of a weaker global economy, warned a trade lawyer who specialises in the chemicals industry.
"There was a 30-40% increase in the total number of anti-dumping cases in Europe in 2011 over the previous year, and I think this trend on a global basis will continue," said ?xml:namespace>
"You can argue that increased trade protectionism is not a good idea during a period when Europe needs more investment from countries such as
"But whereas northern European countries are traditionally strongly in favour of free trade,
"It is all about protecting jobs where unemployment is high and manufacturing industries are struggling, not just in
US politicians continue to claim that jobs have been lost to
"Mitt Romney has talked about signing into law duties on Chinese imports, based on the extent to which the
"But a bit like using nuclear weapons, this would not make sense as the immediate response from
The latest anti-dumping case involving chemicals is claims by the Turkish government against imports of mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) from SABIC, according to media reports.
"In the case of the Turkish claims, a straightforward anti-dumping claim might have some grounds," said Sim.
"This is where allegations are proven that prices are higher in a producer's domestic market than what it is charging overseas."
But he added that a case for anti-subsidy, or countervailing duties, would be much harder to stand-up. These duties are levied when it is determined that raw-material prices have been unfairly subsidised.
"In the case of ethane to make ethylene and then MEG, this doesn't make sense as ethane cannot be shipped around the world. It is essentially stranded, and so there is no international market price that local production costs can be compared with," said Sim.
Propane, used to make propylene and then PP in
Earlier this month,
"This was the result of a political deal between the Indian and Saudi government following very high-level talks," said Sim, which, according to the media reports, might be the outcome of the dispute between
Turkish government officials had agreed to re-evaluate the allegations against SABIC, with both sides in the dispute pushing for an early resolution, the reports added.
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan's Asian Chemical Connections blog
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