The Directorate General of Trade Remedies of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of India launched an investigation early this month regarding safeguard application to phthalic anhydride imported from South Korea. Earlier, Indian companies requested import restrictions, saying that the import volume of the product surged from late 2018 to early this year.
At present, the Indian government is raising trade barriers against South Korean steel and chemical products. For instance, it launched an anti-dumping investigation concerning tin plates in June this year and its investigations are expanding to cover stainless steel. It recently made a preliminary determination to impose an anti-dumping duty of 60 percent on chlorinated polyvinyl chloride.
This trend is likely to continue for a while with India’s economic growth falling short of expectations. Its quarterly GDP growth fell from approximately 8 percent to 5.8 percent from the second quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of this year.
India’s chronic trade deficit is continuing, too. “China accounts for approximately 70 percent of India’s trade deficit and this is a problem hard to solve,” said a South Korean government official, adding, “It seems that the Indian government is trying to deal with it by raising trade barriers against other countries.”