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Wednesday, 15 August, 2001, 05:45 GMT 06:45 UK
EU suspends Indian linen duty
Bed linen
Bed linen: Bone of contention between India and EU
Five months after losing a World Trade Organisation (WTO) case against India, the EU on Tuesday suspended anti-dumping duties on bed linen that it claims is being exported too cheaply.

The WTO ruled on 1 March that the EU broke the trade body's rules when it imposed import duties on Indian bed linen in December 1997.

The EU failed to consider "constructive remedies" before the duties were imposed and did not evaluate "all relevant economic factors" in assessing the impact on domestic producers, the WTO said.

"Whilst mindful of the concerns of EU industry, our swift action to bring ourselves into line with the (WTO) panel decision on bed linen from India is a tangible demonstration of the importance the EU attaches to compliance with WTO rulings whether we win or lose," EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said in a statement.

The move comes as the EU and US try to drum up support from emerging markets for a new round of global trade talks in December.

Wooing India

India has been campaigning for better access to the markets of industrialised countries, arguing that the Uruguay round of trade agreements has not been implemented.

The WTO ruled in India's favour after it complained over how the EU calculated the duties.

The EU said that the "injurious dumping" of Indian bed linen continued but that it had decided to suspend the duties rather than recalculate them.

The EU imports about 3.6bn euros ($3.2bn, 2bn) of Indian textiles a year.

The suspension will become permanent if there is no request for a review by European importers or the textile industry within six months.

The EU and other countries reserve the right to impose anti-dumping duties unilaterally on products they claim are being exported by at unfair low prices.

See also:

31 Jul 01 | Business
World trade talks 'in jeopardy'
26 Jun 01 | Business
WTO promises trade talk progress
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