Posted on October 20, 2017

The Cabinet at its weekly meeting held at Emiri Diwan and chaired by Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al Thani on Wednesday endorsed a draft law on the protection of national products and combating practices that harm them in international trade. 

The Cabinet meeting was attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al Mahmoud. The draft law defined harmful practices in international trade as dumping, dedicated subsidy and increase in imports. It defined dumping as exporting a product to the country at a price below the normal value of its counterpart in the exporting country. The bill stipulates that provisions of the law apply to the protection of national products and measures of combating practices that harm them in international trade in a manner that doesn't conflict with provisions of World Trade Organizations (WTO) agreements.

According to the provisions of the draft law, a committee on the protection of national products and combating practices that harm them in international trade is to be established at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. The committee shall comprise in its formation members of expertise in the field of WTO agreements as well as representatives of concerned ministries and entities. The committee's powers include receiving reports regarding the violation of the provisions of the law, reviewing them and carrying out the necessary investigation, proposing appropriate measures and practices to be taken regarding the complaints referred to it and submitting its proposal in this regard to the minister, in addition to proposing preventive measures to protect national products in line with the provisions of the law.

The minister shall, based on a recommendation from the committee, take what they see appropriate in terms of measures that donot conflict with the WTO agreements. The minister shall in this case take measures to combat dumping, temporary compensation measures, and temporary preventive measures. The minister also shall take anti-dumping measures and final compensation measures in the form of imposing customs duties, price commitments or temporary guarantees in the form of cash deposits or bonds, not exceeding the margin or amount of the definitively specified subsidy.

In addition, the minister shall take final preventive measures against the increase in imports in the form of quantitative restrictions or an increase in customs duties or other formats that are compatible with WTO agreements. The Cabinet may, upon the proposal of the minister and the recommendation of the committee, take any measures it deems necessary to protect the national product from products imported from WTO non-member states, including the imposition of fees to the extent necessary to achieve that end. The Cabinet also approved a draft cabinet decision on amending the organisation of some administrative units of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, Public Works Authority and Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation and the designation of their powers.

Moreover, it approved a decision to establish the standing committee for farmers and the regulation of farmers' affairs. Meanwhile, the Cabinet took measures to ratify a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on holding political dialogue on issues of common interest between Qatar's Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy.