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WTO rules in Pakistan’s favour over PET exports to European Union

GENEVA: The World Trade Organisation has ruled that measures by European Commission on export of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) from Pakistan was against WTO law and rules.

The intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade categorically ruled that measures applied by European Commission on PET were inconsistent with the Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreement (SCM) of the WTO.

This is being seen as a big diplomatic success for Pakistan at the multilateral forum in Geneva by trade experts. The report of the WTO adjudicating panel was released in Geneva.

The European Union had in 2010 had imposed a crippling countervailing duty on import of PET from several countries including Pakistan. As per conservative estimates, the trade protection measures imposed by EU seven years ago caused a loss of approximately 300 million Euros to Pakistan’s nascent chemical industry.

On 28 October 2014, Pakistan requested consultations with the EU under the SCM Agreement. Consultations were held on 17 December 2014 but failed to resolve this dispute.

Pakistan filed a case of unfair trade practices in March 2015 against 28-nation European Commission.

PET, popularly also called Resin is bottle-grade polyester chip, which is used in production of disposable bottles for mineral water beverages.

Minister for Commerce 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.

The exact data on Pakistan’s PET exports to the EU is not available but the country’s share in the EU’s total PET imports is considered to be negligible.

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