May 25, 2020 06:16 UTC
  • Iran says trade undeterred by new Iraqi import tariffs

Iranian exporters say they are not worried by import bans and higher tariffs imposed in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the neighboring Iraq, saying they have other customers to fill the gap.

Seyyed Hamid Hosseini, a senior member of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, said on Sunday that a recent decision in the Iraqi Kurdistan region to ban or impose higher tariffs on imports of 30 goods and products into the territory would not affect the general situation of trade in Iran.

Kurdistan has been a major destination for Iranian exports for the past years, especially since a series of American sanctions on Iran’s sale of oil caused a major boom in exports of non-crude products and goods from the country.

However, the territory imposes periodic bans on imports of certain items, especially the agrifood, as it seeks to maintain a balance in inventories and strengthen a fragile domestic production.

Hosseini says Kurdistan authorities would be forced to lift the bans in a matter of months.

“Experience shows that such decisions would be cancelled after one or two months. Otherwise, the banned items would be imported through smuggling or through other trade channels,” he said.

Hosseini insisted that Iranian exporters would increase their supplies to other customers in the meantime to compensate for the losses suffered over the new bans and tariffs in Kurdistan.

Most of the new tariffs imposed by Kurdistan would affect Iranian farming products, especially the fruit and vegetables that are popular in the Iraqi region.

Hosseini said Iran cannot expect Kurdistan to become a dumping place for its agricultural oversupply, adding that the country should revise its output programs to mitigate the impacts of periodic tariffs imposed in other countries.

MG

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