The Industry Minister, Greg Hunt, should release the “updated” Anti-Dumping Commission’s report on the impact of overseas steel makers in the Australian market prior to Friday’s International Trade Remedies Forum (ITRF) to allow the ITRF to properly do its job.
The Anti-Dumping Commission’s report has been sitting with the Liberals since 4 April 2016. It has spent so much time gathering dust, the Liberals have been forced to send it back to the Commission to be updated.
The ITRF provides Government with an opportunity to hear directly from industry about real world economics that are adversely affecting Australian workers and industry.
The meeting of the ITRF on Friday comes at crucial time for local manufacturers and the Government must urgently consider what further reforms are needed to improve the anti-dumping system and defend Australian jobs.
Feedback from the Forum needs to be taken on board by Government and should inform their amendments to the anti-dumping regime.
Dumping occurs when goods exported to Australia are priced below their normal value. An effective and responsive anti-dumping regime is critical to ensuring local businesses do not suffer injury as a result of goods from overseas being dumped in Australia.
The ITRF is an independent and expert advisory group, with representatives from industry, manufacturers, producers, importers, unions, industry associations and government.
Both the Anti-Dumping Commission and the ITRF were created by Labor as part of a package of reforms to streamline Australia’s anti-dumping system.
Industry, unions and local producers have raised a number of issues that the government needs to address through the ITRF process, including:
Strengthening the application of the anti-circumvention framework and the improving framework itself where necessary.
Amendments to the Anti-Dumping Commission’s operating manual to ensure investigations are robust and appropriate remedies for local industry are provided in a timely manner.
Enforcing greater compliance with tariff classification and Dumping and Countervailing Duty Notices.
The appropriateness of the application of the lesser duty rule.
The use of ‘ad valorem’ duties.
World’s best practice on the application and administration of safeguard measures.
Reforming the length of the investigation period to ensure timely relief from injurious dumping.
Consideration of reforms to Australia’s Particular Market Situation provisions.
Improving access to data provisions.
Instead of working with industry to address these sorts of issues, the Abbott/Turnbull Liberals have sought to abolish the ITRF without ever having convened a meeting of the group. Then they tried to impose an unfair fee on Australian manufacturers seeking a review by the Anti-Dumping Review Panel.
Labor successfully blocked the Liberals’ attempts to abolish the ITRF and slug Australian manufacturers with the unfair fee, but more needs to be done to ensure our anti-dumping system remains world’s best and defend Australian producers from unfair trade practices.
Labor understands that Australia's anti-dumping and countervailing system is critically important to the maintenance of fair trade for our domestic producers.
Industries and workers are injured when goods from overseas are dumped into the Australian market and when overseas exporters try to circumvent our anti-dumping rules.
The Liberals have dodged and dithered when it comes to ensuring Australia has the world’s best anti-dumping and countervailing regime.
Manufacturers have the right to be concerned that the Liberals have dropped the ball when it comes to acting in their best interests.