Tue, 08 Aug 2000

Indonesia against antidumping rules

BANDUNG (JP): Indonesia called on Monday for a review of the World Trade Organization's (WTO) antidumping regulations, saying that these regulations have been manipulated by industrialized countries to become protectionist measures.

The current WTO rules contained many weaknesses, Hatanto Reksodipoetro, director-general of Industrial Institutes Cooperation and International Trade at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said during a seminar about handling dumping charges.

Indonesia, along with other developing countries, will raise the issue at a planned conference on trade liberalization measures under the auspices of the WTO, he said.

The talks broke down in Seattle, Washington, in December largely because of huge differences between the member countries, including the row between industrialized and developing countries over dumping practices.

Industrialized countries have charged developing countries of widespread dumping practices and include in their definition of "dumping" the huge subsidies provided to industries to keep their costs down.

By seeking to revise the antidumping regulations, it does not mean that Indonesia is supporting dumping activities, Hatanto said, adding that Indonesia's own economy could be ruined without antidumping regulations.

"We have to watch out for the imposition of the regulations for the purpose of protecting inefficient industries," he said.

Investigations into allegations of dumping had to be done very carefully as a government's intent to investigate was enough to influence the market, he said.

At least seven Indonesian products have been given antidumping duties by the European Commission since 1996.

Indonesia's bicycles and polyester fibers have been subject to countervailing duties since 1996, polyolefin woven bags and footwear made of textile in 1997, footwear made of leather in 1998, microdisks in 1999 and the synthetic staple fibers of polyester last month.

Leaders of the Group of Eight (G8) industrial nations agreed at the G8 summit in Japan last month to relaunch the WTO conference within five months.

Indonesia supported the plan but said the new talks would have to include specific issues such as antidumping and investment, Hatanto said. (25/10)