India’s launching anti-dumping trade measures against China is protectionist move, unable to reshape bilateral trade: analysts
Published: Oct 08, 2023 07:31 PM
China India Photo:CFP

China India Photo:CFP

India is scaling up the intensity of anti-dumping trade measures against Chinese products since late September. Chinese analysts criticize the move as "trade protectionism" which will have no substantial effect on reducing its dependence on highly competitive Chinese products.

Since late September, the Indian government launched a total of nine anti-dumping probes against Chinese chemicals, magnetic products and industrial parts such as cellophane film and drawer slides in a span of merely 10 days, according to China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).

Even as India was ranked first globally in terms of launching trade protectionist measures against China, observers said the pace seen in September was "rare." They noted, however, the Indian move, which is an abuse of trade remedy measures and amounts to trade protectionism, will not help India reduce its dependency on imports from China.

From 1995 to 2023, India has launched a total of 298 anti-dumping probes against Chinese products. During the period, China faced 1,614 such cases in total, according to MOFCOM.

The number of probes launched by India is way more that the US, which launched the second most anti-dumping probes against Chinese goods, with 189 probes. The EU launched 155 such investigations, ranking the third. 

During the same period, China launched 12 anti-dumping probes against Indian goods, data showed.

The Indian government will typically choose to renew anti-dumping tariffs after the previous round of tariff levies expire, according to a Guangzhou-based lawyer. However, China's affordable and good-quality goods could not be substituted by India, the lawyer noted.

Some analysts said that the India government is launching a protectionist trade war against China, amidst the background of trying to reduce its trade deficit with China.

Lin Minwang, deputy director at the Center for South Asian Studies of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday that India's probes will not change the growing trend of China-India trade, nor will it reduce the nation's dependence on Chinese goods.

Despite the repeated probes by India, China-India trade continues to rise in the past years.

During the first eight months of 2023, bilateral trade reached 619.69 billion yuan ($84.49 billion), up 5.2 percent year-on-year, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs of China in September. From January to August, China's exports to India reached 533 billion yuan, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier.

Lin noted that Indian political elites naively believed in following the West in cracking down on Chinese companies.

According to the monitoring of global trade frictions conducted by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, a trade promoting agency, India, the US and Canada are the major initiators of trade remedy measures against China in the first half of 2023. The range of the probes has extended to cover all types of Chinese goods, from labor intensive products to advanced technological products.

India's trade probes against Chinese products during the period focused on chemical raw materials and finished products, pharmaceuticals, and non-metal products.