WTO terms EU’s restriction on PET export unlawful

Muhammad Arshad

Islamabad

World Trade Organisation (WTO) has declared European Commission’s restrictions on export of Pakistani Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) against WTO laws and rules. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) is a chemical used in the making of mineral water bottles.
According to Ministry of Commerce, the WTO categorically ruled that measures applied by European Commission on Pakistani PET were inconsistent with the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement (SCM) of the WTO.
This is being seen as a big diplomatic success of Pakistan at the multilateral forum in Geneva by trade experts. The report of the WTO adjudicating panel was released in Geneva Thursday evening.
European Union way back in 2010 had imposed a crippling countervailing duty on Pakistan’s PET.
As per conservative estimates, the unfair trade protection measures imposed by EU seven years ago caused a loss of approximately 300 million Euros to Pakistan’s nascent chemical industry. Pakistan had filed a case of unfair trade practices in March 2015, against 28 country European Commission.
International Trade Law experts have labelled it as a success of the present government’s economic diplomacy, which will have far reaching effects in protecting Pakistan’s exports globally.
PET popularly also called Resin is bottle-grade polyester chip, which is used in production of disposable PET bottles for mineral water beverages.
The Minister for Commerce, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan has appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Commerce officials who contested the case at the international dispute forum over the last two years. He hoped that the findings of the WTO panel will boost Pakistan’s exports and also help the government ward off future trade restrictions being based on similar trade remedy practices.

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