A new agreement with the USA and the request to impose new duties on Chinese products. India’s leather and chemicals’ industries are trying to protect their interests during the Covid-19 crisis. To do so, they have decided to side with the United States in the trade war with China.
On one end, tanners, leather goods and footwear manufacturers are ready to sign an agreement with the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America and the US Fashion Industry Association, while on the other, makers of chemical products ask the government to introduce heavier duties on Chinese imports.
Siding with the USA
On June 29th, the Council for Leather Exports (CLE) announced that it will sign “an agreement memorandum”, or a trade agreement, with FDRA and US Fashion Industry Association. The goal, according to what said by press agency PTI, which cites the association’s president Aqeel Ahmed Panaruna, is of “strengthening the presence in the US market”.
At the same time Mr. Panaruna said that export levels of leather and leather goods should recover to pre-Covid levels. How? Thanks to the growing demand from Europe and the United States, where 70% of all exports end up. “I trust that export will continue to grow and will reach the 5-billion-USD mark by the 20/21 financial year – he continues -. Our sector is very interested in taking advantage of the emerging opportunities and will make all the necessary efforts to propel further growth”.
Duties against China
At the same time the leather and chemicals’ industries have declared war against Chinese imports. The chain’s entrepreneur have asked the government to impose an “antidumping” duty for Chinese imports. Indian operators believe that China’s exporters are selling some goods at a lower price than that of their own country. Request is, that the duty re-aligns the two prices and eliminate the gap, so that Indian buyers would have less incentive to buy foreign goods and would turn to local suppliers.
The focus has mainly been places on footwear, sodium sulfide and chromium sulphate, with the last two being used to tan hides. The duty called for was of 35% on the value of the goods, while the amount now is of 8.2%. In truth, as explained by the president of Council of Leather Exports di Calcutta, Ramesh Juneja, to economictimes.indiatimes.com, “the import duty on footwear was increased to 35% in 2019%, but the influx volume of Chinese footwear hasn’t decreased”.