Chris Stanton The EU will impose protectionist tariffs on plastics imports from the UAE for five years starting next month after complaining that producers here receive unfair government subsidies. The move confirmed provisional tariffs levied in June and ended a one-year European investigation of a plastics producer in Ras al Khaimah. It was accompanied by similar tariffs against companies in Pakistan and Iran.
The tariffs were part of a raft of measures targeting GCC petrochemicals producers in India and China that is shaping up to be "a trade war", said Abdulwahab al Sadoun, the secretary general of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association. "I think it's more or less becoming a trade war, and I don't see a basis for it," he said. "We will address this in our coming meeting with the World Trade Organisation [on Thursday]."
The tariffs target polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a common plastic used in soda bottles, and will affect only the UAE's sole producer of the plastic, JBF Ras al Khaimah, which also fought a charge that it "dumped" PET, or sold below production cost, on the European market. JBF won the dumping charge this summer, but the new tariffs stem from a complaint that government rules provide unfair advantages to PET producers in the UAE, said Rohit Maindwal, JBF's president for marketing.
"It's a national concern. This is against foreign investment in the country," he said. "The point is this is a government-to-government discussion on subsidies." The complaint hinges on the fact that JBF does not pay duties on the raw materials it imports for its production plant, Mr Maindwal said. The company was continuing to run at full output and sell to European customers, and was hoping the Federal Government could resolve the matter, he said.
India's government this month imposed tariffs on imports of polypropylene from Saudi Arabia and Oman for allegedly receiving unfairly low-priced natural gas feedstock. email@example.com