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Mon 9 Jan 2017 02:17 PM

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UAE to debate federal bill aimed at protecting national industries

Federal National Council set to discuss bill on anti-dumping actions which can hit demand for domestically-made products

UAE to debate federal bill aimed at protecting national industries
Photo for illustrative purposes only

A federal bill on anti-dumping actions and compensatory and preventive measures will be discussed by the UAE's Federal National Council on Tuesday.

Comprising 22 articles, the proposed law seeks to combat harmful practices in international trade damaging national industries, such as steel, and promote fair competition between domestically-made products and imported low-priced goods that are "unfairly benefiting" from foreign states' support.

It also seeks to remove the impact of unfair competition and increase the country's income by imposing anti-dumping and customs duties on imports supported by exporting countries.

The FNC said in comments published by news agency WAM that national products are facing competition from imported products preferred by some consumers.

The FNC talks follow a move in October by the UAE's Al Ghurair Iron & Steel which said it was doubling its steel production to meet growing demand in the Gulf and resist dumping by countries such as China and India.

Chief executive Abu Bucker Husain said that despite an economic slowdown in the region due to low oil prices, steel demand was continuing to grow because of preparations for events including the 2020 Dubai Expo and the 2022 World Cup soccer tournament in Qatar.

He complained that his company and other UAE producers were struggling against dumping by producers in countries including China, India and Turkey.

In November, The UAE said it could refer the United States to the World Trade Organisation over anti-dumping charges levied on steel pipes.

The US International Trade Commission said it was taking measures against UAE, Oman and Pakistan in relation to circular welded carbon-quality steel pipes, after a Department of Commerce investigation found them to be sold in the United States for less than fair value.

The US investigation began in October 2015 and follows a complaint from four American firms - two in Missouri, and one each in Illinois and California.

The six Gulf Cooperation Council countries are said to be continuing to study whether to raise import duty on steel.

Global steel prices have slumped as Chinese producers, which account for about half of worldwide steel supply, have flooded export markets, sparking protests and anti-dumping complaints by the United States and the European Union among others.

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